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Recent posts by Liz Daehnke

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.

Community development comes first for award recipient

Each year, the Bob Steffen Pioneer Award is bestowed by the Center for Rural Affairs to a person who works to make extraordinary contributions in building community engagement within their own communities. People who receive this award provide a model for innovation, stewardship, or community development.

Few people exist who show more passion for or work harder toward those goals than Hank Miller.

Schuyler entrepreneur receives REAP award

From an early age, Yomara Hernandez helped her mother make fabric flowers for bridal bouquets, and decorations for weddings with natural and artificial flowers. Her mother used to sell them as complete sets, and now Yomara makes her living selling flowers, too.

Owner of Florist Angel’s in Schuyler, Nebraska, Yomara began selling floral arrangements to friends out of her garage which has now grown into a full-fledged business.

Stories of rural resiliency: rural grocers commit to customers during COVID-19

Before the days of quarantine and self-isolation, many people left their small communities to purchase their groceries. Consumers may not have known what their rural grocery offers, and may not have been getting as much bang for their buck. Instead, they were considering convenience, product availability, competitive pricing, or additional services.

Sandra Renner, farm and community director with the Center for Rural Affairs, talks about what rural grocery stores are now facing, due to COVID-19.

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