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Recent posts by Trenton Buhr

Grant funding available for producers looking to diversify their operations 

Agricultural producers interested in diversifying and taking on a new element to their operation are encouraged to apply for a Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

USDA Rural Development has $37 million in grant funding available for this program in 2020. Individuals and groups of producers can apply for grants up to $75,000 for planning, and $250,000 for implementation and working capital.

Lack of broadband connection sparks a rural advocate

Civic engagement can be an enriching activity that helps everyone around us. You may have experienced this through calling your senator or testifying before a committee. You may also know that advocating for your beliefs can be difficult, even scary.

Mike Tabbert has mastered the art of advocacy; championing causes that matter to him.

After growing up in Orchard, Nebraska, Mike moved around. Most recently, he lived in the Houston, Texas, metropolitan area. Last year, Mike and his husband, Brian, moved back to Nebraska, and settled in rural Antelope County.

Diller-Odell Public Schools navigates challenge of unbalanced state funding

Like most rural schools in Nebraska, Diller-Odell Public Schools faces an imbalanced funding stream caused by a complex property tax and school funding system.

While no school is the same, Diller-Odell, located on the Jefferson-Gage County line along the Kansas border, shows the tumultuous times rural schools and the agriculture economy have faced in recent years. With little state funding, the district is reliant on local property taxes and, because of a recent spike in land valuations, most of the burden is on area farmers.

Next step for rural broadband

As the 2020 session of the Nebraska Legislature approaches, the state’s rural broadband policy is ripe for new development.

Rural broadband in Nebraska has seen two big changes in recent months, first when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its plan for a new broadband mapping requirement. Also, Nebraska’s Rural Broadband Task Force finished its report, which recommends policy change to strengthen rural broadband.

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