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.

26 to 50% of food is made from scratch. Thayer Central Community Schools has a goal to increase this percentage to 75% in the future. School spotlight Food service director: Jennifer Waldmeier Regional location: Southeast Nebraska Number of students: 436 Number of feeding sites: 1 Number of food...
  • Small Towns
Stated purpose The approximately 125-mile, 345 kilovolt line would connect northeastern Iowa and western Wisconsin, helping to improve reliability in the local area and the region. The line will work in combination with other Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s Multi-Value Projects in the...
  • Environment
"Rural Electrification 2.0: The Transition to a Clean Energy Economy" is written by Erik Hatlestad, CURE (Clean Up the River Environment Minnesota); Katie Rock, Center for Rural Affairs; and Liz Veazey, We Own It. Introduction Rural America faces a conundrum in the expanding development in renewable...
  • Environment
In this edition, you will read about Liz Flores who opened a Mexican bakery, after noticing a need in her town. She’s creating opportunity for herself, her family, and her neighbors.
  • Small Towns
Iowa can chart a path forward in addressing water quality by building on its existing framework of a watershed approach with greater emphasis on watershed planning and leadership. Tax dollars Better coordination between state agencies through robust watershed planning could ensure tax dollars are...
  • Environment
Last year, voters accomplished what the Legislature could not—the expansion of Medicaid coverage for 90,000 Nebraskans in the insurance coverage gap. These residents earn too little to qualify for subsidies to purchase coverage from the insurance marketplace and too much to qualify for traditional...
  • Rural Health
In November 2018, Nebraskans voted to expand Medicaid coverage to 90,000 neighbors who fall in the insurance coverage gap. Those in the coverage gap: Earn too little to qualify for subsidies to purchase coverage from the insurance marketplace and too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid; Are...
  • Rural Health
Recently, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations department conducted various raids affecting thousands of undocumented immigrants in rural America. On Aug. 8, 2018, Homeland Security Investigations conducted a raid in north central Nebraska. The town most...
  • Small Towns
Iowa has been a national leader in wind energy, and each installment has brought numerous economic benefits to the communities where projects are located. These benefits include direct payments to landowners who host turbines, employment opportunities during the construction and operation of a...
  • Environment
Rural America faces a conundrum with the expansion of renewable energy. Many rural areas in the country are providing infrastructure for a clean energy future, but are dependent on the energy resource mix of their rural electric cooperative, or co-ops. Nationally, co-ops derive 67 percent of their...
  • Environment
Nebraska schools source local foods in a variety of ways: Using fresh produce from school gardens and greenhouses in the school lunch and snack programs. Making purchases directly from farms, either by purchases under the micro-purchase threshold of $10,000, or putting out a competitive bid request...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
26 to 50% of food is made from scratch. Overton Public Schools hopes to increase this percentage in the upcoming years. School spotlight Food service director: Brenda Buchholz Regional location: Central Nebraska Number of students: 293 Number of feeding sites: 1 Number of food service staff: 5...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
51 to 75% of food is made from scratch. Litchfield Public Schools has a goal of increasing this number to 75 to 100% in the future. School spotlight Food service director: Janice Reynolds Regional location: Central Nebraska Number of students: 120 Number of feeding sites: 1 Meal participation rate:...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Excessive nutrient pollution in oceans and rivers can cause dense growth of plants and algae that, when decaying, deplete oxygen needed to sustain aquatic life. The technical phrase for this is eutrophication resulting in hypoxia. This condition creates the Dead Zone where the Mississippi River...
  • Environment
In this edition, you will read about Ruth Chantry who has co-run a certified organic farm for 22 growing seasons, demonstrating hard work on land she owns.
  • Small Towns
The electric transmission grid is an essential piece of infrastructure. A robust transmission system is key to linking renewable energy generation from across the region to homes and businesses, while upgrades also increase reliability of electric service. But, as the grid is updated, there are...
  • Environment
Iowa holds a rare landscape lush in high yielding, rainfed agriculture, but the bounty comes at a price. The state’s water quality threatens public health and outdoor recreation with excessive nitrate, phosphorus, bacteria, sediment, and other pollutants in surface waters. The modern agriculture...
  • Environment
Over the last 83 years, much has changed in Iowa. The state has weathered a Great Recession, undergone significant demographic shifts, and grappled with a changing agricultural economy. However, one discussion has remained a hot topic for what is now the better part of a century—water quality. For...
  • Environment
Enriqueta Martinez es coproprietario y cooperador de El Rancho El Milagro | Roca, Nebraska. Lo que producimos: betabel (remolacha), zanahorias, ajo, y cebollas.
  • Farm and Food
Haga clic aquí para ver el testimonio de la agricultura de Justino en español. Justino Borja is the co-owner and co-operator of Las Gemelas near Columbus, Nebraska. What I produce: chiles, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, and green beans. Before the farm: "I was working at the local meat processing plant...
  • Farm and Food