Reports & Publications

We aren't afraid of the weeds. The people living in rural America deserve a serious and in-depth look at the issues and forces impacting their communities.

"Building Climate Resiliency" is a series of four fact sheets that focus on building rural resiliency in the face of climate change. These are a part of the Center for Rural Affairs' climate project focusing on elevating the stories of rural climate leaders. The fact sheets focus on: Educators Rural...
  • Environment
  • Small Business
Across the U.S., the solar industry is booming. Solar project sites often occupy several acres of land and are projected to cover 3 million acres by 2030. To produce 10 percent of Iowa’s electricity from solar energy, 13,440 acres would need to be occupied by solar arrays—offering an opportunity for...
  • Environment
As Iowa looks to address its water quality problem, enabling success through watershed-level planning and project implementation is a crucial step. Developing a watershed management plan is an early part of the water quality improvement process that enables local buy-in and jump starts action in a...
  • Environment
What is a Watershed Management Authority? A Watershed Management Authority (WMA) is a chapter 28E cooperative agreement among cities, counties, and soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) that enables them to work collaboratively on watershed planning and management within a Hydrologic Unit...
  • Environment
As stakeholders in Iowa’s 56 hydrologic unit code 8 (HUC-8) watersheds look to improve resiliency through conservation practice adoption, education and outreach, and long-term planning, securing funds for these activities is often a challenge. This fact sheet contains a list of local strategies...
  • Environment
Danelle and Josh Nutt own Nutt Family Jams and Jellies. The jams and jellies are homemade using fruits and vegetables grown on the Nutt family’s acreage outside Ravenna, Nebraska. Jams and jellies turn into career Danelle, and her husband, Josh, came up with the idea for their family business more...
  • Small Business
Valorie and Terry Zach own Whitetail River Lodge. Through the Center, Valorie received one-on- one assistance on online marketing, as well as a loan for working capital for her business. Home away from home Valorie and Terry have owned Whitetail River Lodge for 12 years. It sits near Niobrara...
  • Small Business
This 2020 calendar illustrates month-by-month the accomplishments you helped us achieve in 2019. From our executive director Dear Friends, We accomplished so much together this year. Your actions, advice, and donations made a difference. You connected people to the farmers who grow their food. You...
  • Small Towns
The Center for Rural Affairs is working with schools across the state of Nebraska to revamp greenhouse programs. While school greenhouses can be utilized in a variety of ways, our goal is the cultivation of nutritious produce that can be returned to the study body, bringing the greenhouse into the...
  • Small Towns
Last March, I had the opportunity to visit south central Kansas where I met Gene Albers who is starting to transition his farm to the next generation.
  • Small Towns
Matt and Emely Hendl own Anchor Meadow Farm near Milford, Nebraska. Matt served 20 years in the U.S. Navy. Emely’s professional background is in marketing and retail. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Matt went to the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. He was interested in ag education, and wanted to...
  • Farm and Food
Alex McKiernan and Chloe Diegel own Robinette Farms near Martell, Nebraska. Alex didn’t grow up on a farm. He has a Master of Arts degree in geology/geophysics. He has been a diesel mechanic and an arborist. Chloe has always been interested in farming. She grew up in Lincoln and cared about eating...
  • Farm and Food
Seguros protegen contra la pérdida natural de cultivos, como sequía o enfermedad del cultivo. Algunos productos cubren pérdida de ingresos, debido a bajos rendimientos o cambios en el precio de mercado.
  • Farm and Food
Mariel and Anthony Barreras own Barreras Family Farm near Blair, Nebraska. They always wanted to farm, but being in the military and moving so frequently made it difficult. Seven years ago, while stationed in California, their landlord abandoned 25 chickens and five turkeys. They were thrown into it...
  • Farm and Food
Dental health is essential to overall health. Affecting not only physical but mental and emotional well-being, oral health is a critical and complex issue that spans beyond straight teeth and a white smile. While many oral conditions are preventable and treatable if diagnosed early, millions of...
  • Rural Health
The Center for Rural Affairs has been fighting for strong and healthy rural communities for several decades. Early in our history, we recognized that well-managed, diversified farming operations are key to rural community vitality. For example, diverse on-farm income streams offer economic...
  • Farm and Food
Bob Bernt owns Clear Creek Organic Farm, near Spalding, Nebraska. Doesn’t have any formal education/background in agriculture—he grew up loving the land, and wanted to farm alongside his dad. Started farming in the 1970s. Sells directly to consumers, and through Lone Tree Foods. Operation Bob farms...
  • Farm and Food
Del Ficke, owns Ficke Cattle Company, in Pleasant Dale, Nebraska. Del had a career in the health care industry. In his early 20s, he started managing the family farm. Del has been farming for approximately 30 years. He is a fifth generation producer. The farm grew to be 7,000 acres, but Del has...
  • Farm and Food
Roberto Ceja has a cow/calf operation and sells them during the spring. He has applied for two Farm Service Agency Direct Farm Operating Loans for $30,000 each to buy cattle. Roberto has 20 head of cattle, 35 acres of alfalfa, and 10 acres of hay. He also wants to have smaller parcels of sorghum...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we field many questions about Farm Service Agency (FSA) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans, and what they can and cannot be used for. We work directly with Latino producers and youth to explain the process...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns