The Center for Rural Affairs is committed to continuing our work for opportunity and justice for everyone in rural America.
Rural people and rural places sometimes face issues within their community alongside various crises. In the past few years, in addition to a worldwide pandemic, communities have recently experienced flooding, wildfires, and other disasters. On an ongoing basis, your community may be experiencing environmental justice issues with infrastructure, water quality, or otherwise.
We strive to help in your time of need with the resources below.
Environmental justice resources
Many rural communities face environmental injustices and struggle to make meaningful progress due to a lack of capacity or funds, to explore competitive funding opportunities. Rural communities often miss out on opportunities to innovate new construction and projects that could improve the quality of life and resiliency of their communities.
To address these challenges, the Center offers trainings, technical assistance, resources, and more. These offerings are designed to help communities develop their ability to participate in environmental justice and energy justice decision-making, find and apply for grants, and engage with the private sector to be part of the energy and infrastructure project design and development.
The Center for Rural Affairs has partnered with the Heartland Environmental Justice Center (HEJC) at Wichita State University which helps underserved and disadvantaged communities in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and adjoining Indigenous Nations capitalize on their capacity to make meaningful advances toward environmental and energy equity at the local, state, regional, and federal levels.
- For more information about the Heartland Environmental Justice Center, click here.
- Resource compilation from the Environmental Protection Network
- About the Heartland Environmental Justice Center; more information on the project
If your community would like assistance from the Center or would like to learn more about offerings, contact email@example.com.
- USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program
- USDA Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program
General disaster resources
Small Business Administration Disaster Loan program. Current Declared Disasters: If you are located in a county with a declared disaster, you may be eligible for disaster loans through the Small Business Administration.
Small business resources
Center for Rural Affairs - staff are available throughout Nebraska to assist businesses with free one-on-one counseling. Contact the representative in your area for assistance. Bilingual services are available.
Farm Aid maintains a hotline to offer farmers advice and support, and refer farmers to a network of farm and rural support organizations across the country. Call 1.800.FARM.AID or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Farm Aid has also put together this list of resources.
The Farmers Legal Action Group has compiled an excellent guide for farmers navigating the maze of federal programs available for farmers, ranging from small business support to unemployment insurance to changes to the bankruptcy code.
Webinar on Online Sales Platforms for Farmers - hosted by Oregon Tilth. Watch this webinar to learn more about direct-to-consumer online sales platforms, including Barn2Door, Harvie, Local Food Marketplace, Food4All, and Open Food Network. Oregon Tilth has also posted questions to ask when considering online sales platforms.
Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health provides information on a variety of safety and health topics that can be used by operators, managers, families, employees, and others interested in agricultural health and safety. These resources include overviews of health or safety hazards and recommendations to maintain health and prevent injury and illness.
U.S. Department of Agriculture - Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool
- Fact Sheet: Livestock Indemnity Program
- Fact Sheet: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program
- Fact Sheet: USDA Disaster Assistance
- Ask the Experts at USDA
- USDA Emergency Loan program for eligible farmers and ranchers. Producers located in counties receiving a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help recover from production and physical losses.
- The Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters.
- Compensation is also available to producers who purchased coverage through FSA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which protects non-insurable crops against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses or prevented planting.
- Technical and financial assistance available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
- Call your local USDA office or visit farmers.gov/recover.
Wellness, health, and mental health resources
Nebraska Disaster Behavioral Health - 800.464.0258
Iowa Concern - 800.447.1885 (legal issues, finance, stress, and crisis/disaster)
Nebraska Family Helpline - 888.866.8660
Nebraska Rural Response Hotline - 800.464.0258
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - 800.985.5990
NCAT ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture - Resources including a video series, webinars, and general information compilations for agricultural producers, farmers markets, farmers and ranchers, and community/food sovereignty, including resources in Spanish.