About the Center for Rural Affairs

We are unapologetically rural. We stand up for the small family farmer and rancher, new business owner, and rural communities.

For more than 40 years, we've been a leading force engaging people to build a better rural future. We live this work. Welcome to our rural revolution.

Join our newsletter list to learn about what's happening in rural America and at the Center!

We have offices in three main locations: Lyons, Nebraska, at 145 Main St., PO Box 136; Nevada, Iowa, at 1400 Fawcett Parkway, Suite D2; and Hartington, Nebraska, at 106 N. Broadway, PO Box 736; as well as in-home offices throughout Nebraska.

It Starts...

We breathed fire and ran on unrefined youthful energy. It was 1973. Our founders, Don Ralston and Marty Strange, captured our early history here (recommended reading!).

We knew that if we wanted federal policy to work for rural Americans, we had to raise our voice. So we opened shop in an old storefront in rural Nebraska and put nose-to-grindstone. We grew a rural grassroots community. We spoke up about corporate wrongs against family farmers. We took rural voices to Washington. 

We believed we would succeed. It was hard work, but our passion kept us standing strong for rural Americans. And now, we’re over 30,000 and growing across the nation. We’re proud of our track record of successes. See a timeline with some of our major accomplishments here.

As long as rural advocates are needed for health care, clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and community development, you can bet we’ll be in the front lines, building a bright rural future.

Make yourself at home and take look around! We look forward to working with you for rural Americans. 


About the Center for Rural Affairs Notes


Center for Rural Affairs September and October 2020 newsletter

Across the world, we continue to endure the coronavirus pandemic. Our work at the Center for Rural Affairs has evolved to support rural America through this time. One of the core values continuously on our minds is “CONSCIENCE that balances self-interest with an obligation to the common good and future generations.”

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Center for Rural Affairs May and June 2020 Newsletter

The Center for Rural Affairs is committed to continuing our work for opportunity and justice for everyone in rural America during the rapidly evolving response to the coronavirus.

COVID-19 and the ripple effects will create new challenges for rural people and rural places. Our work may look different in the days ahead, but we will continue to serve our mission in all ways possible.

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Staff spotlight: Eunice encourages inclusion in rural America

Though she was born and raised in a metropolitan area, Eunice Ramirez feels more at home in rural America.

“I was raised in a big city where farming and small town areas were things I only read about in books,” Eunice said. “My first visit to Nebraska was back in 2000. I fell in love with the small town feel, where everyone waved hello.”

The El Paso, Texas, native recently joined the Center for Rural Affairs team as an inclusion assistant, a position she’s passionate about.

Staff spotlight: After time in Washington, D.C. Nathan returns to Midwest roots

Many years ago, my great-great-great-great grandparents, Joseph and Malvina Choquette, built a spare frontier cabin in Salix, Iowa, just south of Sioux City. They came from up north in Canada looking for the promise of the American west, hoping to make a new life for themselves on Iowa’s bountiful soil. They did just that, and started generations of Choquettes farming in the area.

Staff spotlight: Halle helps develop business dreams in southeast Nebraska

Recently a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Halle Ramsey is off and running in her new career with the Center for Rural Affairs.

As a business development specialist, Halle coordinates one-on-one consultations and virtual webinars that provide knowledge, support, tools, resources, and accountability to entrepreneurs on a variety of business topics including start-up assistance, financial awareness, marketing and sales, and management.

These responsibilities are exactly what Halle hoped she’d find in her new role.