Small Towns

Rural communities hold the keys to survival in their own hands. With help from policies that build on their strengths as desirable places to live and raise families, they can thrive.
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Community Development

To thrive, rural communities must invest in themselves and their futures, including rural schools and rural leaders.

Community Food Systems

Local farmers markets, community gardens, and local and regional food systems provide fresh, healthy food for all and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Rural Groceries

Small towns across rural America are losing their grocery stores, and we’re working to help groceries stay around.

Small Towns Notes

 

Advocacy 101

State and national policy has a direct impact on how we live our daily lives. But how can you impact policy? Your representatives are elected to act on our behalf as they shape the policies that affect us.

You can engage with our elected officials through advocacy. Understanding advocacy and what it means to be an advocate is key in understanding our political system and making our voices heard.

Check out our tips on this fact sheet.

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Iowa candidates field questions on water, health care, immigration, and more

Water quality and Medicaid were a few of the most talked about issues at a candidate forum recently held by the Center for Rural Affairs and the League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County. Voters were given the opportunity to ask questions in an open forum setting in Nevada, Iowa.

Candidates for the election of Iowa state Senate District 25, Chad Buss, of Parkersburg, and Annette Sweeney, of Alden, answered questions from district residents. Issues were raised such as farm conservation, clean energy, health care, clean water, and local infrastructure.

Staff spotlight: Carlos helps bring communities together

After migrating from Mexico to the United States in 1994, Carlos Barcenas discovered that, though the landscape may change, rural living still encompasses the same ideals.

“Rural brings a sense of agriculture, families, connection, and opportunity no matter where you’re at,” said Barcenas. “Rural America is important to me, because, throughout U.S. history, it has played a significant role in all areas of the country, and is the backbone of what the country stands for today.”

Government program helps preserve communities; serves as example for other states

Driving down main streets in many Nebraska communities offers a similar view – old, brick buildings line the street, interspersed among newer, modern facades. Some are well maintained while others are falling into disrepair – which some local residents are rallying to save.  

Years ago, these structures housed the offices of doctors, lawyers, and dentists on the second floor; while the main floor was home to hardware stores, clothing shops, bakeries, drug stores, and more. Every square inch was dedicated to continuing a thriving town economy.