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Blog for Rural America 11/08/2019 10:00
Earlier this year, in the midst of a trade war with China, President Donald Trump announced a $16 billion agriculture bailout, telling Americans, via Twitter, the biggest beneficiaries would be “our great Patriot Farmers.”Recent news reports, however, indicate foreign companies are getting a majority of the bailout dollars. New statistics show JBS, a Brazilian company and the largest meat producer in the world, has received $78 million in government subsidies through the pork bailout program. The company has received one quarter of all subsidies paid through the program, more than any other recipient. Despite the well-known patterns of corruption that continue to engulf JBS, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has defended the payments. Eac.
Blog for Rural America 11/07/2019 16:37
This week marks one year until the 2020 general election, in which Americans will select their next president. For Iowans, this comes as no surprise. Candidates have been campaigning in the state for months in hopes of winning support in the Iowa caucuses. For rural Iowans specifically, the attention provides a unique opportunity to engage the candidates about issues that affect rural areas. Many candidates have expressed desire to support rural communities in their policies. More than half of the leading candidates have released rural plans, which address topics such as climate change, agriculture policy, broadband, infrastructure, and health care. Even with a rural plan, candidates’ understanding and solutions can always improve. One of t.
Blog for Rural America 11/05/2019 15:54
Cora Fox contributed to this blog. Clear Creek Organic Farm, in Spalding, Nebraska, hosts more than crops and livestock. The Bernt family has run the operation for more than 125 years and in that time, it has grown to not only include the traditional elements of a farm, but now also hosts recreational events, such as a recent concert benefiting Nebraska flood victims, and a tanking business along the Cedar River. Bob Bernt runs the 700-acre operation with his wife and children.
Blog for Rural America 11/04/2019 16:00
Let’s celebrate our rural communities with intention. The Center for Rural Affairs helps communities learn and engage in an intentional way to make long lasting connections across cultures. One way to celebrate our small towns is to support cultural festivals in rural communities. Festivals teach us something new about our neighbors, strengthen our relationships, and foster community pride by bringing people together from all walks of life. With the variety of multicultural months, we have the opportunity to host all kinds of festivals. For example, November is National Native American Heritage Month. Our communities can help support our Native American neighbors by celebrating their history and pride. This is a great chance to learn about
Blog for Rural America 11/01/2019 14:50
When Kayleen Johnson started her garden to incorporate more fresh foods into her family’s meals, she didn’t realize growing food together would also help them grow closer as a family. Santee, Nebraska, the small Dakota community Kayleen calls home, and where she plants her garden each year, is nestled in the bluffs along the Missouri River, on the Santee Reservation.
Blog for Rural America 10/31/2019 15:01
With the average age of a U.S. farmer at nearly 60 years, and millions of acres expected to change hands over the next few years, military veterans have a key role to play as the nation looks for the next generation of producers. To do so, veterans will need assistance overcoming barriers, such as accessing land and the lack of assets or cash flow to purchase land, equipment, and farm inputs. Access to credit is an important component of most farming operations, especially for new and beginning producers. Farm Service Agency (FSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), offers a variety of loan programs, including providing access to much-needed credit.
Blog for Rural America 10/31/2019 12:00
October is Women’s Small Business Month, making it a great time to highlight the work and accomplishments of Women’s Business Centers across the country. Nationally, there are about 115 centers that service more than 146,000 women. These centers provide free and high quality resources, business coaching, trainings, and mentorship for women who are seeking to start or improve their small business. The recipients of these services are a growing group of entrepreneurs. Business ownership by women continues to increase. Recent studies show that women-owned firms account for 39 percent of all privately held firms in the U.S. Women are also starting new businesses at four times the rate of men. They employ 9 million employees and generate 11.7 mi.
Blog for Rural America 10/28/2019 11:30
Growing up, there was always something going on in my neighborhood. Whether it was school or family events or everyday activities, life was never boring. The children in our neighborhood made sure of that. In the summer, we’d ride our bikes, form teams to play baseball, football, and other games, or play hide-and-seek well into the evening. We always found a way to entertain ourselves until our parents yelled for us to come home for the night. Despite being in the heart of a growing metropolitan area with amenities nearby, the neighborhood I grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was as close to a small-town feel as one could get. Most everyone knew each other, looked out for one another, and there was always someone to hang out with. While I’ve
Blog for Rural America 10/25/2019 15:00
The U.S. wind industry is booming—expanding from 1.5 gigawatts of cumulative installed capacity in 1998 to 96.4 gigawatts of installed capacity in 2018. At the same time, the cost of these projects continues to go down. According to the newly-released 2018 Wind Market Technologies Report from the U.S. Department of Energy, the average cost of constructing a wind energy project in 1983 was $4,478 per kilowatt hour. In 2018, the cost dropped to just $1,468 per kilowatt hour. This stunning $3,010 decrease per kilowatt hour is indicative of the growth of the industry as the U.S. transitions to a clean energy economy. Looking ahead, the country is poised to add more than 68 additional gigawatts of wind power capacity. This growth is necessary as.
Blog for Rural America 10/23/2019 10:00
Asked about the plight of dairy farmers in Wisconsin, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “[The] big get bigger and small go out and that’s kind of what we’ve seen here... Everyone will have to make their own decisions economically whether they can survive.”The Center for Rural Affairs was founded in 1973. Earl Butz was Secretary of Agriculture. Butz had a similar view, “Get big or get out.”Butz believed farm consolidation was inevitable. The Center was founded on a different belief. We believe in our ability to come together to shape the future through policy change. We believe in widespread ownership of businesses and farmland. We believe those who work hard ought to have an opportunity to share in the ownership and prosper.
Blog for Rural America 10/22/2019 16:30
Wind energy developed across the U.S. has brought significant opportunity to rural communities, with new projects generating clean energy, in addition to economic benefits for nearby towns and rural areas. These benefits include offering an additional source of income for farm and ranch families through land-lease payments, creating new short-term jobs during the construction of a project, as well as long-term operations jobs, and adding another source of tax revenue for rural counties that allows them to fund local schools, emergency services, and even road repairs. As more wind energy is developed in rural areas, local officials and developers should take the time to consider and address the concerns or questions of community members.
Blog for Rural America 10/21/2019 14:30
A recent survey indicates a majority of Iowans want presidential candidates to address science-related issues, specifically climate change and energy. According to the survey, conducted between June 13 and 19 on behalf of Research!America and Science Debate, 79 percent of 802 adult Iowans who responded to the survey would like presidential candidates to have a plan addressing climate change and 87 percent want them to discuss science-related issues. Addressing a possible format for the discussions, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents agreed a possible format could be a topic-focused debate. Of those who identified as Democrat, 97 percent agreed; as Republican, 84 percent agreed; and as Independent, 81 percent agreed. The data collected.
Blog for Rural America 10/17/2019 18:00
Across the country, kids are reaping the benefits and heading back to school with local foods on their plates. October is National Farm to School Month and programs are kicking off to improve student health and strengthen our communities. Since 2016, farm to school month has been held to grow awareness and assist schools in activities leading to larger local foods programs. To get started with their own program, schools can incorporate small amounts of local foods into their meals. For instance, Nebraska has an initiative which urges schools to serve a locally-sourced meal in their cafeterias on the first Thursday of each month. This benefits schools and keeps our local economies strong. In the U.S., every dollar spent on farm to school act.
Blog for Rural America 10/17/2019 11:35
Each year, Midwest Energy News acknowledges leaders who are based in the Midwest. These men and women are innovators from all sectors, including industry, government, regulatory, business, academia, nonprofit, and advocacy. The 40 Under 40 awards program showcases emerging leaders throughout the region, and highlights their work in America’s transition to a clean energy economy. This year, the Center for Rural Affairs was represented by one of its own. Policy Associate Lu Nelsen was named one of the recipients of the 2019 Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 Award. Through his work with the Center, Lu helps bring awareness of the benefits of renewable energy development in the Great Plains and Midwest to people in rural America. This work is don.
Blog for Rural America 10/16/2019 18:00
Gene Albers joined his family’s tradition of farming in south central Kansas in the 1970s. After working the land with their father, Gene and his two brothers became farmers. Now, with years of experience behind him, Gene is beginning to retire from his 1,200 acre cattle, wheat, and soybean operation. As Gene reflects on his career, the benefits of years of conservation practices stand out to him. Two practices in particular, planting cover crops and implementing no-till, have been especially beneficial for his operation. He sees them as economically practical ways to steward the land. Gene’s use of conservation practices began over two decades ago. After a change in the 1996 farm bill, he began incorporating no-till in 1997. A few years la.


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