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Recent posts by Brian Depew

From the Desk of the Executive Director: Passage of tax bill puts rural priorities at risk

The tax bill secured final passage just as we went to press with our January/February newsletter. The Center opposed the bill and we called on Congress to return the bill to committee for further debate and deliberation. In our initial review of the bill, a few provisions give us pause, including:

From the executive director: tax proposals put rural priorities at risk

As the hotly debated tax bills appear headed toward final votes in the House and Senate this week, the Center for Rural Affairs calls on members of Congress to send the bills back to committee for further debate. The Center opposed both the House and Senate versions of the bill.

In our review of the bills, a few of the provisions that will negatively impact rural people include:

Farm bill renewal is in sight

Congress will write a new farm bill in 2018. Initiatives that support conservation, beginning farmers, local and regional markets, and rural businesses are up for debate.

We believe the new farm bill should:

From the desk of the Executive Director: Food security takes root in Native communities

Six years ago, three members of our staff started meeting with representatives of the Santee Sioux Nation in Northeast Nebraska. The conversation centered on building food security for tribal members. 

In-depth conversation and careful planning helped everyone who came to the table build trust with one another. Through dialogue, it became clear there was an opportunity to collaborate with local community members.

Demand for small business capital is strong

The unexpected passing of Jeff Reynolds, long-time director of the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), made 2017 a year of change and transition for our small business development work. 

Jeff was committed to rural small business development, and to each and every small business owner we ever worked with. Since becoming program director in 2000, Jeff led a dramatic expansion of our small business lending, training, and technical assistance work. 

He fundamentally believed in small business development as a strategy for small towns. He helped design, campaign for, and win both state and federal programs that now provide resources to other small business development organizations. His impact extends far beyond Nebraska.

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