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Dear Senator Nelson

The following letter was set to Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson by Center for Rural Affairs' Board Member Jim Knopik. Jim was kind enough to share the letter with us for publication here as well.

Development Matters

You can read our newsletter online for free every month. You can even sign up to receive a copy in the mail for free as well. This is the time of year that we ask readers to make a contribution to support the newsletter if possible.

In order to secure a farm bill that invests in the long-term future of family farms, ranches, and rural communities, we need as many people as possible to join us in raising their voices for rural America.

MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success Was Hugely Successful!

This Month's Feature Article

The Center’s first annual MarketPlace conference is now over, and it is one for the record books. The event’s success was evident from the overflowing parking lot at Kearney’s Ramada Inn, the bustling hallways within, and the over 500 people who faced an impending storm to turn out in droves. Attendees of all ages came from 10 states and Canada, including Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In Nebraska, 134 communities were represented.

What Would Rural America Look Like If?

Periodically, over the last 18 months, we have asked a question in this newsletter, a question that has both intrigued and perturbed – and probably more of the latter. We have asked, what would it look like if rural America truly mattered? If rural people and rural places were given the credit, and standing, that they deserve – not more, not less, but a just hearing and fair consideration – then what would it look like?

Public policies have, often as not, been the enemy of rural America. But policies are choices, choices made by people, choices that can be reversed by people of good will and common sense. What kind of policy choices would reverse the ominous trends that we see in rural America?