Your Stories

Transplanted gardener welcomed at Omaha Nation Farmers Market

Tomas Delacruz lives north of Macy, Nebraska, where his two acres of land host an ever-expanding garden. 

Growing up in Mexico, Tomas and his family harvested chilies and peppers. Now, living in Nebraska, he continues to grow those familiar staples, and has added a plethora of other vegetables to his garden, some of which he was able to sell last summer. 

For assistance in selling his produce, Tomas reached out to former Center for Rural Affairs community food associate, Bounthy Parker, who helped run the Omaha Reservation Community Farmers Market, in Macy and Walthill.

No Medicaid, no normalcy for the Lockwoods

​Deb and Curtis Lockwood have lived and worked in the Fremont area for most of their lives. They raised children, welcomed grandchildren, and began to plan for a comfortable retirement. As far as anyone could see, they were living the American dream.

When Medicaid expanded in late 2018, the Lockwoods did not believe they would need it. After one unexpected injury and a bureaucratic nightmare, today, they find themselves waiting for coverage they desperately need.

Staff spotlight: Rural America is in Sandra’s past, present, and future

Sandra Renner has spent nearly five years focusing on a variety of work, all with one thing in common—assisting rural Nebraskans.

Newly appointed as the Farm and Community Program director for the Center for Rural Affairs, Sandra began as a project associate within that program, and has since immersed herself in everything from outreach and promotion to grant writing to project management surrounding food systems work.

In her new role, she plans to stay just as active in her quest to help better rural America.

Staff spotlight: Toni believes rural America grants opportunity

A native Nebraskan and lifelong northeast Nebraska resident, Toni Smeal relishes rural living.

Recently hired as grants manager for the Center for Rural Affairs, Toni now has the opportunity to not only love living rural, but she also works to protect the lifestyle she cares about so much.

After spending each day in Omaha for her former job, she’s happy to be able to enjoy the simple things rural living has to offer.

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