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Recent posts by Molly Malone

Minnesotans invited to take survey

The Center for Rural Affairs represents all rural citizens—specifically with state and federal policy on farm bill programs, clean energy, water quality, small businesses, health care access, and broadband.

In 2019, the Center expanded work in Minnesota with a dedicated staff member, Molly Malone, in Murray County.

To help us better understand what policy issues Minneostans care about and want us to focus on, we have created a 10-question survey. 

Paycheck Protection Program — A lifeline for rural business

The bread and butter of rural communities are small businesses and the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting challenges that are out of their control.

There’s one tool that may be able to help—the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was signed into law on March 27 as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Small businesses with up to 500 employees, including sole proprietorships, who were in operation on Feb. 15 and negatively affected by COVID-19 may apply for the forgivable loans.

What happens to my farm data?

Climbing into the combine, I am met with a dashboard of dusty screens and controls. The beeps and notifications remind me data is being recorded as I collect crops.

As the combine moves along, I keep an eye on the yields and variations in quadrants. Small farmers who work the land themselves see everything with their own eyes.

Technology and software have advanced, and farmers who once had to estimate their yields now have the tools to provide more precise totals, which can improve margins and help manage inputs.

But, farmers aren’t the only ones who benefit.

Paycheck Protection Program: A Lifeline for Rural Business

The COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges that are out of the control of business owners. Decreased demand, shifting markets, and a slowed economy will hit us all in different ways. Small businesses are the bread and butter of rural communities and the PPP is one tool business owners can use to help manage the economic downturn. 

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A hometown strategy to a vibrant local community

I showed up a few minutes early for lunch to explore the one-and-a-half block downtown area of Edgerton, Minnesota. Despite the modest population of about 1,100, it is known for a few things—the traditional bakery, unique shops, and Dutch heritage.