Wind farm and corn field

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.

Buying locally produced food has a host of benefits for Nebraska: It is fresher, healthier, and more flavorful, it strengthens the local economy, and it is better for the environment. Dollars spent on local foods stay in our communities, helping our small businesses and small farms while supporting...
  • Farm and Food
In this edition, we chose stories to highlight our core value of “Citizen involvement and ACTION to shape the future.” All I have to say is, “Wow!” I wish we could highlight all of you, but we just don’t have room.
  • Small Towns
Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative, established in 2015, is an animal production cooperative. Currently, it has 40 farms, but started with only seven. Its base of operations is in Clinton, Arkansas, but member farms are located across the country and corporate staff work remotely. New member farms are added based on market demand.
  • Farm and Food
Tiny Farms Group, established in 2015, is an informal vegetable cooperative. They currently have three members.
  • Farm and Food
Businesses with just a handful of employees make communities feel like home. These mom-and-pop shops—many microenterprises—are a good example of the neighbors-serving-neighbors spirit found in rural areas. The small enterprises are also an important part of the rural economy, something government...
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The Center for Rural Affairs' Small Business News includes select success stories on Nebraska entrepreneurs assisted by our programs and information that you may need to start or grow your business.
  • Small Business
Iowa is in the middle of an unprecedented boom in solar energy at all levels. Utility-scale solar, the largest type of project, is defined as a solar energy system with enough capacity to produce electricity to sell to energy providers, not to directly supply end-use customers. As of 2018, the...
  • Environment
After working several years for Buenos Días Nebraska, a Spanish newspaper in Grand Island, Nebraska, Norma’s boss offered to sell her the business. Norma jumped at the opportunity to own the newspaper. She has been the proud owner since 2016.
  • Small Business
The Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit program is designed for and only available to small business owners in Nebraska. It is a refundable tax credit for up to $20,000. Are you eligible? All applicants must be actively involved in the daily operations of the business and have five or...
  • Small Business
Hope you’re hanging in there. In this edition of our newsletter, we are looking forward to starting 2021 off on the right foot. In this issue, we chose stories to highlight our core value of “Citizen INVOLVEMENT and action to shape the future.”
  • Small Towns
Lakehouse Farm is a small, diversified organic produce farm with an emphasis on summer crops (tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes).
  • Farm and Food
Senior Policy Associate Nathan Beacom talks with Sen. Tom Brandt and others from the industry about the growing interest in Nebraska for ways to make our meat industry work better, including a bill before the Legislature that will support small businesses in the meat sector.
  • Farm and Food
In the virtual town hall, Trenton Buhr, policy associate for the Center for Rural Affairs, Jim Reiff, executive director of the Nebraska Enterprise Fund in Oakland, and Andrea McClintic, executive director of Dawson Area Development in Lexington discuss and take questions about the Nebraska...
  • Small Business
Welcome to “Conversations from the Field,” a guide to navigating crop insurance for organic grain operations. We’ve collected stories and perspectives from crop insurance agents and organic farmers across the Midwest, and are excited to share their insights with you. This resource contains 14...
  • Farm and Food
Coronavirus defined 2020. Small businesses fought for survival. Community life turned upside down. Families struggled with economic uncertainty. This year brought the fight for social and economic justice into renewed focus.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Rural Health
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
When COVID-19 hit packing plant floors in the spring of 2020, the effects of the outbreak were felt far beyond the four walls of a given facility. With workers spending long hours on the line and in close proximity to one another, the environment was perfect for a respiratory virus to find new hosts...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
Major plant closures during the COVID-19 pandemic caused record losses of animals and revenue for farmers. The beef industry lost $13.6 billion and more than 10 million hogs were euthanized by the end of summer 2020. Meat prices were up an average of 20 percent from last year, and 30 percent less...
  • Farm and Food
“Nebraskans are lucky to have access to great renewable energy potential,” said Lu Nelsen, senior policy associate for the Center. “Wind energy has already grown significantly in the state, and we’re starting to see solar grow to deliver many of the same benefits to communities across the state.” Lu...
  • Environment
COVID-19 has recently brought Nebraska onto the national and international stage, and the attention is not all positive. To begin, the state’s strong economy has attracted a growing number of immigrants to both rural and urban areas. Criticisms have been raised around the lack of access to adequate...
  • Small Towns
Every day, rural communities are harnessing the benefits of wind energy. Wind development provides new income for landowners, new tax revenue to fund schools and services, and creates local career and job opportunities. County officials are responsible for enacting siting or zoning standards that...
  • Environment