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.

Wind farm development brings numerous economic benefits to the counties and local communities where they are located. Among the perks are direct payments to landowners who host turbines, and employment opportunities in the area during the construction and operation of a project. In some cases...
  • Environment
Wind farm development brings numerous economic benefits to the counties and local communities where the wind farms are located. Among the perks are direct payments to landowners who host turbines, as well as employment opportunities in the area during the construction and operation of a project. In...
  • Environment
Ruth Chantry, originally from Omaha, Nebraska, grew up canning and gardening. Together, she and her husband started on a community farm in Wisconsin. They had a steep learning curve, which helped equip them with the tools and knowledge needed to start their own farm. They moved to Nebraska and...
  • Farm and Food
Access to long-term care facilities in Nebraska is an issue that impacts thousands of families across the state. Rural facilities are closing and their capacity is dwindling as long-term health care services shift to a handful of metropolitan counties. While a net total of 16 rural facilities have...
  • Rural Health
Throughout this edition, you will read about Iowa brothers who take conservation and water quality to heart; in school officials bringing local foods to lunch trays; in small business owners who are standing up for a farm bill program; in Nebraskans who have successfully placed Medicaid expansion on the November ballot; and in our Chief Administrative Officer Linda Butkus as she returns to her rural roots.
  • Small Towns
This report is authored by Becky Keim, Center for Rural Affairs This report documents the current state of the food system on the Omaha Reservation and identifies strategies and areas of consideration to enable the Omaha people and their neighbors to move toward realizing self-reliance of their food...
  • Small Towns
Connectivity is the defining aspect of our 21st century economy. It determines the work we do, the markets we access, and our financial prospects, while also shaping our education, health care, and overall quality of life. Not everyone is able to participate in this evolution. In much of rural...
  • Small Towns
Throughout this edition, you will see this value in Lt. Col. Anthony and Mariel Barreras’ vision and interactions with beginning veteran farmers; in South Dak-ota businesses letting us know of their strengths and areas that need attention; and in Laurie Donnell as she starts her new role helping rural entrepreneurs.
  • Small Towns
Water quality is a contentious issue in Iowa, where high nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria, and sediment levels in surface waters threaten public health and outdoor recreation. The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, released in late 2012, aims to provide a framework for how sources of both point and...
  • Environment
Throughout this edition, you will see this value in rural residents forming food policy councils; in Nebraskans as they seek to put Medicaid expansion on the November ballot; and in our own Veronica Spindola as she assists rural entrepreneurs.
  • Small Towns
Fact sheet by Lu Nelsen, policy associate. Wind energy continues to create new economic prospects in rural areas. However, this new development can come with concerns from local communities and landowners. Often mentioned is the possible effect on nearby property values. While there are many...
  • Environment
Report by Cora Fox, policy program associate, with assistance from Anna Johnson, senior policy program associate This report examines the efficacy of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. These states were selected based on their high...
  • Farm and Food
The top need for small businesses in South Dakota is finding quality employees. Owners also identified employee quantity issues as the leading growth inhibitor. “The Rushmore State – Carving out a Business Profile: 2017 South Dakota Small Business Needs Assessment Results,” is authored by Dr...
  • Small Business
Organic farming is an important sector of our nation's agricultural economy. Organic agriculture is a viable model for economic growth and stability for many farmers. In some cases, the extra income from producing and selling organic products can allow family farmers to stay on their land. Consumer...
  • Farm and Food
Organic farming is an important sector of our nation's agricultural economy. Organic agriculture is a viable model for economic growth and stability for many farmers. In some cases, the extra income from producing and selling organic products can allow family farmers to stay on their land. Consumer...
  • Farm and Food
Organic farming is an important sector of our nation's agricultural economy. Organic agriculture is a viable model for economic growth and stability for many farmers. In some cases, the extra income from producing and selling organic products can allow family farmers to stay on their land. Consumer...
  • Farm and Food
Throughout this edition, you will see this value in action: in Crystal Powers who makes sure her land is used in the best way possible; in our stand for fairness in farming; and in our support for veterans who look to continue their sense of service and work ethic in farming or ranching.
  • Small Towns
Wind turbines are multiplying across the U.S., and most are installed in rural areas overlooking crops, cattle, timber, and lakes. Rural communities have experienced several benefits from the development of wind energy, but the growth of the industry has also presented a challenge in the form of...
  • Environment
Note from the Editor This edition of our newsletter focuses on genuine OPPORTUNITY for all to earn a living, raise a family, and prosper in a rural place. Brian writes about current opportunities that may be slipping away from rural citizens. As they stand at the time of print, both tax bills in...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Development of transmission lines, wind, and solar energy has the potential to be a huge economic opportunity for rural communities in Iowa. With the implementation of any new infrastructure, residents need to know their rights and how to negotiate benefits to receive the best, most cost effective...
  • Environment