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Recent posts by Liz Daehnke

Staff spotlight: Anna’s sights set on small business training

Born and raised on a cattle ranch near a small town in southeastern Idaho, Anna Pratt learned to drive on country back roads, charged purchases to a tab at local farm supply stores, and took part in the challenges and rewards of a family-owned business.

In other words, she’s no stranger to rural America.

A new member of the Center for Rural Affairs team, Anna is the Women’s Business Center director, and is excited about her new role.

Learning is a lifelong endeavor for Center staff member

Since 2015, Suzi French has been a valuable member of the Center for Rural Affairs team, and, recently, she just became even more of an asset to the Center’s work. 

As a community foods associate working alongside the Omaha Tribe in Walthill, Nebraska, Suzi focuses on assisting residents who live on the Omaha Reservation. She helps people plan and start their gardens, as well as guides them in building a business from their home gardens, all while bringing the community together.

Staff spotlight: Rural America is in Sandra’s past, present, and future

Sandra Renner has spent nearly five years focusing on a variety of work, all with one thing in common—assisting rural Nebraskans.

Newly appointed as the Farm and Community Program director for the Center for Rural Affairs, Sandra began as a project associate within that program, and has since immersed herself in everything from outreach and promotion to grant writing to project management surrounding food systems work.

In her new role, she plans to stay just as active in her quest to help better rural America.

Staff spotlight: Toni believes rural America grants opportunity

A native Nebraskan and lifelong northeast Nebraska resident, Toni Smeal relishes rural living.

Recently hired as grants manager for the Center for Rural Affairs, Toni now has the opportunity to not only love living rural, but she also works to protect the lifestyle she cares about so much.

After spending each day in Omaha for her former job, she’s happy to be able to enjoy the simple things rural living has to offer.

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