Center for Rural Affairs March and April 2020 Newsletter

Note from the editor

At the Center for Rural Affairs, we are happy to work with constituents like Max Wilson, who is featured on our front page. My colleague, Kate Hansen, first spoke with Max about his experience with the Conservation Stewardship Program. She told me she was so energized by his answer that he was on the top of her list to follow-up with so we can learn more.

What Kate learned in her interview was that Max follows the values that drive our organization. One value in particular, “STEWARDSHIP of the natural environment upon which all of us—current and future generations—rely,” drives his goal of conservation efforts on his land. He continues to farm and ranch on the same land as his parents, and focuses on the land’s health.

When Kate called Max’s local Natural Resources Conservation Service technician, we learned more about Max’s commitment to the program. The technician has enjoyed developing his grazing plans with him over the years.

We appreciate people like Max who share their stories so we can spread the word about conservation programs. Have you had success with the Conservation Stewardship Program? Drop us a line.

Inside this issue

Grazing management benefits landowner — Max Wilson grew up watching his parents raise crops and livestock on his family’s farm in Burwell, Nebraska, all while learning the importance of land stewardship.

From the desk of the executive director: Center helps businesses resist predatory lenders — At the Center for Rural Affairs, we make around 100 loans per year to small rural businesses in our home state of Nebraska. We recently launched a new online lending platform to help our clients resist predatory lenders.

Census 2020: why rural counts — By now, you have most likely received a postcard or letter in your mailbox inviting you to participate in the 2020 Census. Set forth as an effort to count everyone in the U.S., the data collected as part of the census impacts everyone who is, or is not, counted. 

Solar provides farmers with opportunity — Battling a tough farm economy and increasingly unpredictable weather, farmers are often looking for ways to reduce costs on their operations. One strategy is leveraging the affordability of solar panels on farms, an idea that has been picking up steam in many rural areas.

Pollinators film leaves audience wanting to talk to neighbors — A quality learning experience came from a winter night at the movies with a room full of new friends. Together with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bee Lab, the Center for Rural Affairs was honored in January to host a crowd of pollinator-curious people at a theater in Lincoln. The special occasion was a screening of “The Pollinators,” a documentary followed by a question and answer panel, and loads of take-home materials and seed packets for attendees.

Staff spotlight: Jessica dives into new role as Women’s Business Center director — From workshops and one-on-one training to networking events across the state to personal coaching and business assistance, the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Women’s Business Center goes above and beyond to provide these free services to all Nebraskans.

Office now open in Grand Island, Nebraska — The Center for Rural Affairs has opened an office at College Park, 3180 W. Highway 34, Room 200, in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Conservation enrollment open — For farmers and ranchers interested in expanding conservation on their operations, two of the nation’s largest working lands programs—the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)—are open for applications. 

Thank you, 2019 Donors!

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