Iowa bill requiring meatpackers to buy from independent producers killed in subcommittee; telling Congress about vertical integration

>> Despite passage by a significant majority in the Iowa Senate, SF 504, a bill that would have required meatpackers to purchase 25 percent of the hogs they slaughter in Iowa from independent producers, died in a legislative subcommittee.

Representative Delores Mertz (D-Ottosen), chair of the House Agriculture Committee, named herself to a subcommittee to review the bill, seemingly for the purpose of blocking its passage.

State Legislatures Deliberate over School Funding

As many state legislatures come to a close, one issue that is almost always at the forefront is school funding. Each state funds public school education differently and uniquely. Here we look at what several states have been up to this session.

Nebraska Legislature Addressing Rural Issues

In the 2007 Nebraska Legislature, the Center for Rural Affairs has focused on legislation that will enhance economic opportunities in rural communities and will make existing programs work better for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and rural communities.

While legislative actions on the Center’s priorities are not complete, our priorities are receiving favorable treatment. That is due in large part because many of you who believe in the future of rural Nebraska, its people, and its communities, have become advocates for small business development, for new rural development strategies, and for real resources to make a difference. We thank you for all your efforts to build a strong and vibrant rural Nebraska.

REAP Selects Women Microentrepreneurs for Cash Equity Awards

Using $10,000 in funds provided by the Women and Company® Microenterprise Boost Program, six women microentrepreneurs across rural Nebraska will receive financial support for their enterprises. Award winners were recognized in conjunction with a GROW Nebraska Spring Meeting on April 26, 2007, by the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance program (REAP).

Online at the Center — Blogs and Comments

The Center’s online presence continues to evolve rapidly. Just about every day brings a request or idea to do something new at One new and exciting feature we’ve added this month is comments for the online version of this newsletter. To leave comments on any of the articles in this month’s newsletter, visit, and look for the newsletter button.

The front page of our site now has links to blogs that are covering our work. It is a great resource to find out what other people are saying about the Center for Rural Affairs online. Our own Blog for Rural America officially moved to our main webpage as well, and more Center staff will be pitching in to help write posts for the blog in coming months. You can visit the blog at


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