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Recent posts by Liz Daehnke

Tina goes the extra mile for local entrepreneurs

For the past 14 years, Tina Biteghe Bi Ndong has witnessed the work the Center for Rural Affairs has done with the West Point, Nebraska, community. As the executive director of the West Point Chamber of Commerce, she has seen the relationship between the two organizations blossom over the years and become an integral part of that partnership.

Tina has supported entrepreneurs and given back to her community to such an extent that the Center has chosen her as the recipient of its 2019 Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Extra Mile Award.

Safety measures ensure success for Schuyler business owners

For almost two decades, Luis Salinas, his brother Jose, and Cristobal Salinas have been serving up fan favorites at their restaurant, Burrito House, in Schuyler, Nebraska.

Mexican dishes such as burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, and more are made with love every day by six full- and part-time employees.

Staff spotlight: Shelby spreads Center’s message through social media

Northeast Nebraska and nonprofit organizations—Shelby Ostrand is a fan of both, and a stranger to neither.

Recently hired as the Center for Rural Affairs’ marketing and communications associate, Shelby grew up in northeast Nebraska, and her family has lived in the area as long as she can remember.

She describes herself as “a multi-generational farmer’s daughter,” and has seen her family go from raising cattle, hogs, and crops to just focusing on crops.

Iowa couple recognized with Citizenship Award

Mark Tjelmeland’s interest in conservation can be traced back to his childhood when his mother taught him about topsoil, subsoil, and why topsoil depth differed between locations on his family’s farm. Through school and experiences like these, Mark has been committed to conservation and climate efforts ever since.

He and his wife, Connie, have been farming for almost four decades, and haven’t been afraid to try new things in their operation. Over the years, they have prioritized natural resources and building their climate resiliency through various conservation practices.

Agriculture is more than a business for first-year farmer

Though growing up in Lomé, the capital of Togo, West Africa, meant farm life was unfamiliar to Irene Atayi, it didn’t stop her from developing a love of growing plants.

As a child, she gained experience year by year while helping her mother in the garden by building beds, planting, and harvesting. After Irene got her own place, she started container gardening on her patio and also set up a hydroponic system indoors.