Small Towns

Rural communities hold the keys to survival in their own hands. With help from policies that build on their strengths as desirable places to live and raise families, they can thrive.

Community Development

To thrive, rural communities must invest in themselves and their futures, including rural schools and rural leaders.

Community Food Systems

Local farmers markets, community gardens, and local and regional food systems provide fresh, healthy food for all and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Rural Groceries

Small towns across rural America are losing their grocery stores, and we’re working to help groceries stay around.

Small Towns Notes

 

Center for Rural Affairs May and June 2020 Newsletter

The Center for Rural Affairs is committed to continuing our work for opportunity and justice for everyone in rural America during the rapidly evolving response to the coronavirus.

COVID-19 and the ripple effects will create new challenges for rural people and rural places. Our work may look different in the days ahead, but we will continue to serve our mission in all ways possible.

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Addressing Obesity in Nebraska’s Youth: Water Consumption in Schools

Due to the time young people spend there, schools are a natural location for proactive, cost-effective interventions to reduce obesity. Policy options to do so include more access to no-cost drinking water, education, promotion of water as a substitute for sugary beverages, and inclusion of water fountains and/or water bottle filling stations in new school buildings.

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Stories of rural resiliency: rural grocers commit to customers during COVID-19

Before the days of quarantine and self-isolation, many people left their small communities to purchase their groceries. Consumers may not have known what their rural grocery offers, and may not have been getting as much bang for their buck. Instead, they were considering convenience, product availability, competitive pricing, or additional services.

Sandra Renner, farm and community director with the Center for Rural Affairs, talks about what rural grocery stores are now facing, due to COVID-19.

Online quilting bee creates community

I’ve worked from home for many years, and I have some pretty serious homesteading tendencies. I’m an extrovert, but I’ve built a lifestyle for myself that happily keeps me home most of the time. All that said, when COVID-19 really began to affect this country, although my day-to-day actions didn’t take much of a hit, my mental health went down fast, and my focus and energy dwindled. Social media seemed more addictive and toxic than ever, and I felt hope and purpose crawl under a rock. Bye-bye now.

Minnesotans invited to take survey

The Center for Rural Affairs represents all rural citizens—specifically with state and federal policy on farm bill programs, clean energy, water quality, small businesses, health care access, and broadband.

In 2019, the Center expanded work in Minnesota with a dedicated staff member, Molly Malone, in Murray County.

To help us better understand what policy issues Minneostans care about and want us to focus on, we have created a 10-question survey.