Note from the Editor
Since its inception, the Center for Rural Affairs has chosen to advance a set of values that reflect the best of rural America. This month’s newsletter focuses on “FAIRNESS that allows all who contribute to the nation’s prosperity to share in it.”
In this edition, you will read about our research on broadband internet and our urging to policy makers for fair distribution. We are also asking lawmakers in Washington to pass a new farm bill, to be fair to our rural communities, farmers, and ranchers. In another report, we talked with farmers and water officials to make sure each side is fairly considered on a contentious issue.
Elsewhere, you will read about one of our staff members working to provide fair opportunity to members of the Omaha Tribe; our bee project helping women landowners and women beekeepers connect; and another staff member helping Latino entrepreneurs have a fair chance in the business world.
Fairness is also found in our executive director’s essay as he tells us about the Center’s work calling for immigration reform. This would give new Americans a better chance at settling in our rural communities.
Inside this issue
Gardening system first of its kind on Omaha Reservation – This summer, a member of the Omaha Nation implemented a new gardening practice that could substantially improve the amount of vegetables grown each season on the Omaha Reservation.
Farm bill expiration puts up unnecessary roadblocks – Our country’s foremost piece of agricultural legislation, the farm bill, has expired. The need for preservation of soil health and water quality has never been more important, uncertainty in farm country is high, and rural entrepreneurs need our assistance – but Congress has yet to reach an agreement on a final farm bill.
From the desk of the executive director: immigration in focus for rural America – An immigration raid in very rural north central Nebraska put a spotlight on the immigration debate in rural America. The raid targeted alleged labor practice exploitation by a local employment agency. It also swept up more than 100 community members and employees of local businesses in its net.
Bee connection: sticking women landowners and beekeepers together – This summer, huge green peppers were picked out of Joette Novak’s garden – the most she’s ever seen. She attributes this success to the bees placed on her land.
Broadband policy leaves rural areas out – Connectivity is the defining aspect of our 21st century economy. Access to broadband internet offers the best in education, health care, and economic development. Unfortunately for many, the best isn’t available.
Farmers face risk when adopting new practices to improve water quality – Water quality is a contentious issue across the country. For example, in Iowa, continued high nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria, and sediment levels in surface waters threaten public health and outdoor recreation.
Staff Spotlight: Griselda, Center can help you succeed – Selfless. Dedicated. Motivated. There are few people in this world who possess not one, but all three qualities listed above. Luckily for small business owners, Griselda Rendon is one of those people.