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Programs could help veterans become next generation of producers 

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.

Celebrating Women’s Small Business Month

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.

Iowa sixth-graders urge candidates to address our changing climate

In many ways, Jack Spence and Thomas Sauer are normal sixth grade students.

Jack enjoys playing sports, Thomas’ favorite school subject is social studies, and the two boys have been friends since their elementary years.

In recent months, the duo has been advocating for leaders to prioritize our climate on a national political scale. As presidential candidates flood through their hometown ahead of the Iowa caucuses, the boys are making sure candidates hear questions about the changing climate and its impact on rural Iowa, from the youth.

Conservation practices breed longevity and success

Though Del Ficke had an established career in the health care industry, his heart was always back home on the family farm.

The draw of wide open spaces and working with livestock was too much to resist. So, for 30 years, Del has made agriculture his priority, and takes pride in managing Ficke Cattle Company in Pleasant Dale, Nebraska.

RMAP has provided small business support in 45 states

Thirty-one organizations signed a letter on Oct. 17 requesting members of the House and Senate appropriations committees and agriculture appropriations committees to fund the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), a farm bill program, in 2020.

Members of the committees will soon negotiate 2020 appropriations. In the letter, the organizations ask that Congress members stand up for RMAP and support rural communities by ensuring $6 million in appropriated funding remains available for RMAP.

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