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Iowa farmer shows conservation and economics go hand in hand

Mark Tjelmeland can trace his interest in conservation back to his childhood. When he was a young boy, Mark’s mother peaked his curiosity in natural resources by taking him to a field that was being tiled. She showed him the topsoil, subsoil, and explained why topsoil depth differed between locations on their farm.

From the desk of the executive director: the little program that could

Let me tell you a story. It’s a story of a little program called RMAP. Sounds wonky, right?

It’s the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, which is part of the larger farm bill. The story started a long time ago.

A Center study in the late 1980s showed a high rate of self-employment in rural areas, but few economic development strategies to help this sector. The more rural the area, the higher the rate of self-employment, the report documented. This research led us to expand our programs to serve small businesses.

Conference focuses on food and arts-based businesses and rural communities

Registration is open for the Food + Art Conference: Growing Rural Businesses and Communities, hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs.

The event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Pender Community Center, 614 Main St., in Pender, Nebraska.

The conference will offer resources and connections for food and arts-based businesses, and rural community or economic developers wishing to develop local economic opportunities around local foods and the arts.

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