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.

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
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
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
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
Renewable energy has rapidly expanded throughout the U.S. as prices of production have fallen and the cost of operating fossil fuel-based generation resources continues to grow. Market forces have facilitated the widespread adoption of wind energy by utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and other...
  • Environment
Childhood obesity is an ongoing epidemic in the U.S. Approximately 19.3 percent of American youth ages 2 to 19 have a body mass index above the 95th percentile, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) age and sex-specific metrics for healthy body weight. Percentages of...
  • Rural Health
At the Center for Rural Affairs, the majority of our staff have worked from home for eight months now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Like many of you, I have adjusted to my remote rural life.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Signups are now open for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which has helped farmers and ranchers achieve conservation goals on their operations for nearly two decades. Administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), CSP offers technical and financial assistance to...
  • Farm and Food
Across the U.S., many cities, counties, and states are taking advantage of affordable renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy. Over the past nine years, the price of installing solar energy projects has decreased by 70 percent, while the average cost of constructing a wind energy...
  • Environment
Renewable energy has provided several benefits for rural communities and counties across Nebraska. In addition to producing clean, low-cost renewable energy, these projects create new employment opportunities during the construction and operation periods. Additionally, renewable generation has...
  • Environment
Throughout the Midwest region of the U.S., farmers, schools, and small businesses have been on the frontline of solar energy adoption. Collectively, states in the Midwest employ approximately 36,605 workers in the solar industry with 3,118.67 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity. These jobs...
  • Environment