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Recent posts by Brian Depew

Farm bill fails to pass House; rural America wins, for now

Today, the House of Representatives failed to pass H.R. 2, its draft of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, commonly known as the farm bill. Representatives voted 198 in favor and 213 against.

This is a win for rural America, as the bill’s proposals were a giant step in the wrong direction.

The draft included eliminating the Conservation Stewardship Program and cut funds for working lands conservation by nearly $5 billion over 10 years.

Local View: House farm bill fails rural Nebraska

The House Agriculture Committee has proposed and voted for a new version of the farm bill. Unfortunately, their proposed bill fails rural Nebraskans.

Working together with members of our congressional delegation, rural Nebraskans have made major improvements to farm policy in the last two farm bills. Farm policy today is more fair, better protects our land and water and does more to create opportunity for a new generation than it did 10 years ago. The House farm bill threatens to turn the clock back a decade.

From the desk of the executive director: Where have all the bankers gone?

The Center for Rural Affairs first examined consolidation in the banking industry in a 1978 report, “Where Have All the Bankers Gone?”. We have long understood the critical link between credit, who has access, who doesn’t, and how it shapes communities.

That’s why a recent report in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye. It detailed how banking in rural communities has fared in the years since the financial crisis. 

$665,000 more available in lending capital

Recently, we learned of a $665,000 grant awarded to our Rural Investment Corporation for lending capital. The Rural Investment Corporation is a subsidiary of the Center for Rural Affairs that is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). 

The award comes from the U.S. Department of Treasury CDFI Fund. This was our first ever application to the CDFI Fund for loan capital. We were among 303 CDFIs who were awarded $208.7 million to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically-distressed communities across the nation.

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