Latest Updates from

2024 cooperative business development mini-grant program request for applications

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 11:21
The Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (NCDC), a program of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s department of agricultural economics, is seeking applications for its 2024 Cooperative Business Development Mini-grant Program.

Rural Prosperity Nebraska helps Ord business expand

Tue, 02/06/2024 - 10:03
It’s a good problem to have when your business outgrows your retail space. But it’s still a problem. Jessalyn and Dustin Crawford, owners of Hey Honey Boutique in Ord, Nebraska, recently overcame this challenge.

Registration is open for the annual Local Food & Healthy Farms conference

Wed, 01/03/2024 - 10:34
Registration is open for the 2024 Local Food and Healthy Farms Conference, which takes place Jan. 25-27 at the River’s Edge Conference Center in Columbus, Neb.

For over 40 years, the Nebraska Sustainable Ag Society’s (NSAS) annual conference has been a mainstay event for farmers to connect and share knowledge. For the third year, the conference is a collaborative partnership with University of Nebraska Extension and Nebraska Specialty Crop Growers to provide the most dynamic and comprehensive farming and local food systems conference in the state.

Agriculture and Community Wellbeing: A review of Three Research Studies

Fri, 12/15/2023 - 10:19

This article was first published as part of the UNL Department of Agricultural Economics weekly Cornhusker Economics series on Nov. 29, 2023. 

Poll: Most Rural Nebraskans Unfamiliar with Farm Bill but Support Programs

Thu, 12/07/2023 - 10:36
Most rural Nebraskans report being unfamiliar with the Farm Bill and federal agricultural policy, according to the 2023 Nebraska Rural Poll.

Two-thirds of rural Nebraskans surveyed are either very unfamiliar (43%) or somewhat unfamiliar (23%) with federal ag policy. Twenty-seven percent are somewhat familiar, and only 7% report being very familiar.

Long-term Planning

Wed, 12/06/2023 - 10:44

Cold temperatures have come, the garden has frozen, the leaves are falling, and outdoor activities are coming to an end. It may be a good time to start planning.

Long term planning is very important to communities. I’m not just talking about a comprehensive plan that is required for grant applications. I’m talking about planning on what you want your community to look like in the future.

Agriculture and Community Well-Being: A Review of Three Research Studies

Tue, 12/05/2023 - 12:37

Personal observations are often obscure to the facts. For instance, recently I worked at a booth at Husker Harvest Days. The booth focused on rural community development. My observations were that many of the agricultural producers decided to not stop at our booth or for those who did stop, conversations showed a disconnect of the importance of their local community to their farm operations. Similarly, when working with communities, I have observed the lack of understanding of the importance of the agricultural producers to the local community’s well-being.

RPN Today - S2E4 - eCoaching

Fri, 12/01/2023 - 10:00

Quick Becomes Newest Team Member of Rural Prosperity Nebraska

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 12:40
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln welcomes Tyler Quick as the newest Extension instructor with Rural Prosperity Nebraska, the community development arm of Nebraska Extension. Born and raised in Alliance, Quick feels rural Nebraska is part of who he is. As a Rural Prosperity Nebraska Extension instructor, Quick will work with communities in Blair, Burt, Douglas, Dodge, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington counties. Here’s a little bit about him.

Tell us a little about your family life.

Child Care Options Lacking in Rural Nebraska, Poll Suggests

Thu, 11/09/2023 - 10:54
Most rural Nebraskans see a lack of affordable child care options in their communities and believe that increasing access should be a high priority, according to the 2023 Nebraska Rural Poll.

Sixty-one percent of rural Nebraskans surveyed agree that there is a shortage of affordable child care options in their community, while just 6% disagree. Fifty-nine percent also agree their community needs more before- and after-school options.

Local leaders gather for transformative leadership Chautauqua event

Thu, 11/09/2023 - 00:00
Rural Prosperity Nebraska successfully organized a groundbreaking Leadership Chautauqua in Kearney, bringing together approximately 120 community leaders from Nebraska and Iowa for a day of transformative discussions. The think-tank-style discussions aimed to reshape community leadership development (CLD) in Nebraska, focusing on innovative strategies and collaborative approaches.

Cooperatives: A Childcare Solution

Tue, 11/07/2023 - 10:55


Food Sovereignty Program Combines Science, Indigenous Cultural Practices

Tue, 11/07/2023 - 10:20
On an early autumn morning, dozens of Native American middle and high school students gather to harvest and prepare their garden for winter. But these children aren’t farmers. They live in Lincoln and come to East Campus each Saturday as part of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Indigenous Youth Food Sovereignty Program.

RPN Today - S2E3 - Import Stores

Wed, 11/01/2023 - 15:40

Don't Pass on the Passport

Wed, 11/01/2023 - 13:50
As I write this, fall is just beginning, and it is time for fall festivals, garage sales and all sorts of activities as the temperatures cool off. How is your community celebrating the changing seasons? Are you working with neighboring communities to draw in larger crowds?

Getting People Involved in Community Events: An Art and a Science

Tue, 10/24/2023 - 10:48
Every fall, as towns and organizations gear up for holiday events and activities, a common refrain is heard: "We need new people!" Yet transitioning to new leadership and volunteers is easier said than done.

So why do we hear these statements – what is happening? There could be a couple of things going on…

Chautauqua Aims to Revolutionize Rural Leadership Development

Thu, 10/19/2023 - 10:25
Rural Prosperity Nebraska is leading the charge on revolutionizing leadership development for Nebraska’s rural communities by hosting a leadership Chautauqua on Nov. 8 in Kearney, which kicks off a multi-step revisioning of traditional leadership development programs.