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.

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
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 anecdotes about potential effects, there are...
  • Environment
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 rates of CSP contracts and acres enrolled in the program, as well as their role as agriculture-centric states...
  • 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
This edition of our newsletter focuses on genuine OPPORTUNITY for all to earn a living, raise a family, and prosper in a rural place.
  • 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
As the renewable electricity sector grows in Iowa and across the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) footprint, rural stakeholders increasingly experience both benefits and drawbacks from wind, solar, and electric transmission line development. Renewable energy infrastructure and...
  • Environment
This 2018 calendar illustrates month-by-month the accomplishments you helped us achieve in 2017. With your help, small businesses are open and expanding; food systems are created and thriving; and rural people across the country are making their voices heard. Your donations and your actions helped...
  • Small Towns
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, provides food assistance to 1 in 7 Americans, and 1 in 11 Nebraskans. This white paper by Jordan Rasmussen, policy program associate, examines “A Discrepancy in Rural Nebraska’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).” In rural...
  • Small Towns
To ensure business owners are offered the products and services they need, it is imperative to simply ask. Business needs change as the economy shifts and technology modernizes, and entrepreneurs fluctuate in interests, financial situations, and energy levels. As citizens, large business owners, and...
  • Small Business
Crystal Powers, co-owner and co-operator of Darby Springs Farm, in Ceresco, Nebraska, participates in our Women's Learning Circles. Darby Springs Farm motivation and practices: Motivation for farming is to help people restore land through sustainable agriculture. Finds ways to utilize land to her...
  • Farm and Food
Working lands conservation programs, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, provide the necessary tools for farmers and producers to maintain agricultural production on their land, simultaneously addressing resource concerns within their operations. Funding and strengthening working lands...
  • Farm and Food
Working lands conservation programs, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, provide the necessary tools for farmers and producers to maintain agricultural production on their land, simultaneously addressing resource concerns within their operations. Funding and strengthening working lands...
  • Farm and Food
Working lands conservation programs, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, provide the necessary tools for farmers and producers to maintain agricultural production on their land, simultaneously addressing resource concerns within their operations. Funding and strengthening working lands...
  • Farm and Food