Your Stories

Rural Rockstar: Jerry Peckumn Honored for His Advocacy and Citizenship

Jerry Peckum, who farms near Jefferson, Iowa, is the recipient of the Center for Rural Affairs Citizenship Award. The award goes to someone who actively participates in the democratic process for creating public policy, and who works closely with us to advance public policies that strengthen family farms, ranches, and rural communities.

Hemingford: Made from Scratch

It all started in Judy Stewart’s junior high health class. Judy, the school nurse at Hemingford public schools, was teaching the nutrition section. She heard lots of comments from the students about their wish for better, fresher food in the school cafeteria. Judy is not the first educator to hear students complain about their school cafeteria, but she recognized a valuable teaching moment and seized it.

Moving from Coal to Clean in Hallam, Nebraska

Sheldon Station is an aging coal-fired power plant constructed in 1958 near Hallam, Nebraska. Sheldon Station is the biggest polluter in Lancaster County, and changing environmental regulations make continuing operations at Sheldon Station uneconomical. Sheldon Station's 80 dedicated employees deserve a transition plan for job creation and economic growth after the plant is retired.

Warm Drive, Beautiful Lights!

The days leading up to Christmas for my family centered around lights. Flashlights, as we fed livestock on winter evenings when going outside after five meant going out in the dark. Headlights, as we stood at the end of our driveway in pre-dawn hours, awaiting the warmth found on the school bus. Starlight, as we looked up at bright, twinkling stars in the blackness of a clear winter sky, untainted by city lights.

What If Rural Really Mattered?

My War on Poverty desk, that’s what I call it. The Center doesn’t go in for fancy office furniture. My desk is an old government surplus model with a metal tag that says “property of US government.” I think it was discarded while the Nixon administration was dismantling the War on Poverty and Don Ralston and Marty Strange were founding the Center for Rural Affairs.

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