Center for Rural Affairs November and December 2021 Newsletter

Small Towns
Farm and Food
November/December 2021 newsletter

Editor's note

Throughout this issue, we focus on one of our organization’s core values: “FAIRNESS that allows all who contribute to the nation’s prosperity to share in it.”

A couple of years ago, the Center began a new area of work, focusing on bringing communities together through inclusive activities. One of these projects is featured on the front page of this newsletter.

In West Point, Nebraska, we have assisted with their farmers market and childrens activities. In another area of our work, we submitted a comment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure their services are inclusive. We work to provide fair and equal opportunities for everyone.

This work continues in the small business area, where we offer a loan and business counseling to an immigrant who may have struggled to obtain traditional financing.

Our executive director continues the conversation by sharing his experience installing solar. His venture proves that anyone can participate in this opportunity.

As always, these stories contain just a sample of what we are up to. Read more at

Inside this issue

Farmers market ignites inclusivity and ingenuity within community - Farmers markets spice up the summer months by offering locally grown produce, handcrafted items, freshly baked goods, live entertainment, and more.

Center encourages USDA to improve access to programs - The Center for Rural Affairs recently submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on how internal policies and protocols can be changed to better advance racial justice and equity.

Rural businesses still find assistance - Rural Nebraska businesses and homeowners continue to receive important assistance from a familiar program with a revised name.

Cuban store brings a taste of home to community - The Cuban population in Columbus, Nebraska, is booming. As an immigration paralegal, Ana Villegas has seen this community grow firsthand, and she and her husband, Jesus Ramos, decided they wanted to find a way to help these newcomers feel at home.

Workforce in waiting: immigrants' pending work visas are ready to tackle employee shortages - There is ample news and speculation about the lack of workforce, but one solution to labor shortages often gets overlooked: immigrants waiting for employment authorization.

Newly formed group in northeast Iowa signals an exciting new path for the region's water efforts - The Shell Rock River Watershed Management Coalition (SRRWMC), located in the northeast part of Iowa, met for the first time this summer.

From the executive director: solar represents unprecedented opportunity - Solar energy is now the cheapest form of new energy production, according to recent industry analysis. To leverage this opportunity, the Biden administration recently announced a blueprint to increase solar energy production from 4% of total U.S. power to 45% by 2050.

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