Grappling with COVID-19, Congress can leverage solar energy

Wiping out the last five years of solar job growth, the COVID-19 pandemic has reset total employment in the U.S. solar industry back to 2014 levels.

As recently as 2019, the solar industry employed 250,000 Americans in all 50 states. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the novel coronavirus has decimated growth in the industry, which will now employ 188,000 Americans through June 2020. This new reality is a 38 percent drop from the 302,000 originally forecasted. Meanwhile, during the second quarter of 2020 (April, May, and June), the country lost out on 3 gigawatts of solar energy deployment, the equivalent of powering 288,000 American homes.

Safety measures ensure success for Schuyler business owners

For almost two decades, Luis Salinas, his brother Jose, and Cristobal Salinas have been serving up fan favorites at their restaurant, Burrito House, in Schuyler, Nebraska.

Mexican dishes such as burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, and more are made with love every day by six full- and part-time employees.

Staff spotlight: Shelby spreads Center’s message through social media

Northeast Nebraska and nonprofit organizations—Shelby Ostrand is a fan of both, and a stranger to neither.

Recently hired as the Center for Rural Affairs’ marketing and communications associate, Shelby grew up in northeast Nebraska, and her family has lived in the area as long as she can remember.

She describes herself as “a multi-generational farmer’s daughter,” and has seen her family go from raising cattle, hogs, and crops to just focusing on crops.

Iowa couple recognized with Citizenship Award

Mark Tjelmeland’s interest in conservation can be traced back to his childhood when his mother taught him about topsoil, subsoil, and why topsoil depth differed between locations on his family’s farm. Through school and experiences like these, Mark has been committed to conservation and climate efforts ever since.

He and his wife, Connie, have been farming for almost four decades, and haven’t been afraid to try new things in their operation. Over the years, they have prioritized natural resources and building their climate resiliency through various conservation practices.

How to apply for new CFAP program - what grain and livestock producers need to know

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has opened up applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which offers producers of many commodities payments if they experienced a price decrease between set dates in January and April, or were unable to market their crops or livestock. For farmers and ranchers who haven’t yet looked into whether the program will be helpful to their operation, here are a few things to know.


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