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.

The Center for Rural Affairs is working with schools across the state of Nebraska to revamp greenhouse programs. While school greenhouses can be utilized in a variety of ways, our goal is the cultivation of nutritious produce that can be returned to the study body, bringing the greenhouse into the...
  • Small Towns
Last March, I had the opportunity to visit south central Kansas where I met Gene Albers who is starting to transition his farm to the next generation.
  • Small Towns
Alex McKiernan and Chloe Diegel own Robinette Farms near Martell, Nebraska. Alex didn’t grow up on a farm. He has a Master of Arts degree in geology/geophysics. He has been a diesel mechanic and an arborist. Chloe has always been interested in farming. She grew up in Lincoln and cared about eating...
  • Farm and Food
Seguros protegen contra la pérdida natural de cultivos, como sequía o enfermedad del cultivo. Algunos productos cubren pérdida de ingresos, debido a bajos rendimientos o cambios en el precio de mercado.
  • Farm and Food
Mariel and Anthony Barreras own Barreras Family Farm near Blair, Nebraska. They always wanted to farm, but being in the military and moving so frequently made it difficult. Seven years ago, while stationed in California, their landlord abandoned 25 chickens and five turkeys. They were thrown into it...
  • Farm and Food
Matt and Emely Hendl own Anchor Meadow Farm near Milford, Nebraska. Matt served 20 years in the U.S. Navy. Emely’s professional background is in marketing and retail. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Matt went to the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. He was interested in ag education, and wanted to...
  • Farm and Food
Dental health is essential to overall health. Affecting not only physical but mental and emotional well-being, oral health is a critical and complex issue that spans beyond straight teeth and a white smile. While many oral conditions are preventable and treatable if diagnosed early, millions of...
  • Rural Health
The Center for Rural Affairs has been fighting for strong and healthy rural communities for several decades. Early in our history, we recognized that well-managed, diversified farming operations are key to rural community vitality. For example, diverse on-farm income streams offer economic...
  • Farm and Food
Bob Bernt owns Clear Creek Organic Farm, near Spalding, Nebraska. Doesn’t have any formal education/background in agriculture—he grew up loving the land, and wanted to farm alongside his dad. Started farming in the 1970s. Sells directly to consumers, and through Lone Tree Foods. Operation Bob farms...
  • Farm and Food
Del Ficke, owns Ficke Cattle Company, in Pleasant Dale, Nebraska. Del had a career in the health care industry. In his early 20s, he started managing the family farm. Del has been farming for approximately 30 years. He is a fifth generation producer. The farm grew to be 7,000 acres, but Del has...
  • Farm and Food
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we field many questions about Farm Service Agency (FSA) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans, and what they can and cannot be used for. We work directly with Latino producers and youth to explain the process...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Carlos Alvarado, Sr., owner of Los Dos Potrillos, applied for a $30,000 Farm Service Agency Direct Farm Operating Loan. He used the loan to buy a tractor for harvesting hay and alfalfa. Operation I currently have a few animals, but my main focus is raising Friesian horses and other exotic animals...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Carlos Alvarado, Jr., operator of rodents4ever, applied for a $5,000 Youth Loan from the Farm Service Agency. The loan paid for a hutch to house chinchillas, and gravel and dirt to support the base of the hutch. Carlos sells meat chickens, organic eggs, geese, goslings, pheasants, chinchillas, and...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Roberto Ceja has a cow/calf operation and sells them during the spring. He has applied for two Farm Service Agency Direct Farm Operating Loans for $30,000 each to buy cattle. Roberto has 20 head of cattle, 35 acres of alfalfa, and 10 acres of hay. He also wants to have smaller parcels of sorghum...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
My favorite part of this job isn’t the cake we get for birthdays, although that is a pretty neat perk. I absolutely love visiting with you—our donors, event and program participants, small business loan recipients, board members, and everyday, rural people.
  • Environment
  • Small Business
Las políticas estatales y nacionales tienen un impacto directo en nuestras vidas diarias. Entonces, ¿qué puedo hacer yo para afectar la política? Nuestros representantes son elegidos para actuar en representación nuestra para darle forma a las políticas que nos afectan. Se puede interactuar con...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
With the average age of a farmer at nearly 60 years, and millions of acres expected to change hands over the next few years, many Americans are thinking about who the next generation of producers will be. Investment in the next generation of producers is garnering attention with key congressional...
  • Farm and Food
Jami Thoene, of Valparaiso, Nebraska, is a beginning farmer searching for land. Grew up on a family farm and was involved with 4-H and FFA. Obtained bachelor’s degree in agriculture education with a minor in animal science. Worked for a few veterinarians. Began working with Natural Resources...
  • Farm and Food
Martin Neal, of Hickman, Nebraska, is a beginning farmer searching for land. Currently farms 5 acres Hopes to farm 150 acres in the future Difficulty obtaining land: “When it comes to buying land, most have a pre-authorization letter and don’t need to go through the three- to four month​ process...
  • Farm and Food
Every day, rural communities benefit from 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 help ensure wind...
  • Environment