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Recent posts by Brian Depew

Unapologetically Rural: A Year of Progress

It’s an exciting time to be in rural America. We are witnessing renewed interest in sustainable farming. New opportunities in clean energy, healthcare, and small business offer opportunity in small towns. And our work is evolving to include a more diverse set of strategies to create welcoming and vibrant communities.

Aligning Capital and Justice

In 2015, the Center for Rural Affairs will reach the $12 million mark in small business loans. Aligning loan capital with our values of widespread ownership, control, and opportunity is a core strategy for our work.

How did we get here?

In 1977, the Center published Where Have All the Bankers Gone?, reporting on changes in the ownership structure of banking. Banks were consolidating. When small-town banks joined a consolidated chain, more of their customers’ cash holdings went to big-city banks in the chain.

Rural America: It's Complicated, Really Complicated

There are two closely held, widely believed, narratives about rural America. The national media narrative, with roots in the 1980’s farm crisis, is fatalistic. Rural places are dying. It lives on at the Brookings Institute and the New York Times, fueled by demographics that show decades of population decline across much of rural America.
 
The other narrative is woven by small town boosters. They point to new demographic data showing 30-49 year olds returning to small towns. They talk with passion about new businesses and housing shortages.
 

Remembering Hank Rohling

A dear member of the Center for Rural Affairs staff, Hank Rohling, passed away unexpectedly on October 24, 2014. In his two years at the Center, Hank crisscrossed the country visiting with Center donors in nearly every state.

Since his passing, many of you have written to share your memories of visiting with him. One Center supporter wrote, “Hank visited our home, and we had such rich conversation. Hank was so real, and it was wonderful to have the Center reach into our home.”

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