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Recent posts by Brian Depew

Remembering a Dear Friend and Colleague

I have to share some tragic and very sad news with you. A dear member of the Center for Rural Affairs staff, and a friend and acquaintance to many of you, Hank Rohling, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on October 24. 

I know many of you - Center donors across the country - had the opportunity to visit with Hank, our major gifts development officer, over the past two years. 

Rural America: It’s Complicated, Really Complicated

There are two closely held, and widely believed, narratives about rural America. The narrative in the national media is a fatalist one. Rural places are dying. The people are leaving.

This narrative has roots in the farm crisis. It lives on strong at the Brookings Institute and on the pages of The New York Times. It is fueled by demographic trends that show decades of population decline across many areas of the nation.

Go Beyond Buy Local. Think Invest Local Too!

Buy local. It’s a well known strategy for small towns. Keeping your grocery money close to home keeps the grocery store close to home. Economists tell us that every dollar spent at a locally owned business generates two to four times the economic benefit.

But what if we take it to the next level? What if we “invest local” too?

Beyond Buy Local, Invest Local

Buy local. It’s a well known strategy for small towns. Keeping your grocery money close to home keeps the grocery store close to home.
 
Economists tell us that every dollar spent at a locally owned business generates two to four times the economic benefit. But what if we take it to the next level? What if we “invest local” too?
 

Testimony on Limiting Carbon Pollution Drawn from Rural People and Stories

I traveled to Denver in late July to testify at a public hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon pollution rule. The rule will rein in carbon pollution and curb climate change. I brought your stories – the stories of rural people we know to the hearing.

Stories from people like Matt Russell, a 5th generation farmer from Iowa who feels he’s already experiencing the effects of climate change. He’s worried we won’t be able to meet the needs of a growing population if the agricultural systems we have in place now are no longer viable with a changing climate.

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