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Recent posts by Guest Writer

Nebraska Lawmakers Consider Speeding Up Rural Broadband Access

Nebraska lawmakers are scheduled to hear a bill next week designed to ramp up access to broadband internet in parts of the state still stuck at dial-up speeds.

Johnathan Hladik, policy director with the Center for Rural Affairs, said broadband is an economic-development tool for small businesses in rural communities - one of the state's key job creators. And it's becoming increasingly important for farmers.

Survey: Rural Iowans Want Candidates to Address Climate Change

DES MOINES, Iowa -- As presidential hopefuls make their final pitches to Iowans before the upcoming caucuses, rural residents say they want to hear more about climate change.

Some political observers might think climate change is an issue more important to voters in coastal areas. But according to the Center for Rural Affairs, 91% of respondents to a recent survey said they were either "very" or "extremely" concerned about climate change affecting their lives.

Increased access to clean drinking water could improve student health

Children spend a significant portion of their days in school for most of the calendar year, and public health advocates are concerned that too many are not drinking enough water, which can lead to a host of negative issues.

Jordan Rasmussen, policy manager for the Center for Rural Affairs, says insufficient water intake poses long-term health risks, and because dehydrated brains are not as sharp, children find it harder to stay focused in class.

Deadline nears to comment on Conservation Stewardship Program changes

Farmers who want to weigh-in on changes to the nation's Conservation Stewardship Program have five weeks to submit comments to the United States Department of Agriculture.

CSP offers farmers five-year paid contracts on working lands in an effort to control soil erosion, improve water quality, protect wildlife habitat and support other conservation practices. Paul Ackley farms 800 acres in southwestern Iowa and said the program helped him improve profitability.

Small businesses rely on holiday shopping dollars

The holiday season is just around the corner, and small businesses across Nebraska are stocking up and making the case that shopping locally pays important dividends for communities.

Anna Pratt, Women's Business Center director at the Center for Rural Affairs, says small businesses have a hard time competing with big box stores and chains when it comes to advertising holiday sales on TV, or even stuffing your mailbox with circulars.

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