Latest Updates from

Rural Nebraskans are Concerned About Water Quality, Poll Shows

Fri, 12/02/2022 - 09:50

Lincoln, Nebraska, Dec. 2, 2022 — Rural Nebraskans are concerned about water quality and water contamination affecting their own or their family’s health, according to the 2022 Nebraska Rural Poll.

Two-thirds of respondents to the poll — an annual survey of rural Nebraskans conducted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln — say they are “somewhat concerned,” “concerned” or “very concerned” about contaminants in their water supply impacting their health.

RPN Today - S1E4 - Real Estate Co-ops

Thu, 12/01/2022 - 15:51

Webinar Explores Cooperatives in Food Systems

Wed, 11/30/2022 - 18:52

The Nebraska Cooperative Development Center is hosting a winter webinar series focused on cooperative businesses in the food system. During the Co-op Innovation in the Food System series, attendees will hear from a wide range of businesses and learn how they use the cooperative model to address issues such as land access, infrastructure needs, fair prices, and land stewardship.

Learning from Each Other with Jason Tuller

Mon, 11/21/2022 - 13:35

Is there a community that you see that is doing something well? Perhaps you wished your community was able to copy their success? Maybe you can.

There are some communities that have a track record of success. Maybe they have had success in attracting new housing. Maybe their downtown is full and vibrant. How do you learn from them? A simple way is to pick up a phone. Call the city office, ask them questions about their success. Many times there is a process that they have followed in order to bring change to their community.

Community Conversations with Jordan Rasmussen

Tue, 11/15/2022 - 10:26

As you look across your rural town, are there community development opportunities and projects that go untouched? Are there areas where the community could use a fresh perspective? What if you harnessed the energy, talent, and knowledge of college students for a summer to help your town move these opportunities forward?

Community Conversations with Jason Tuller

Fri, 11/04/2022 - 10:33

Last month I talked about “Three Wishes” for a community. With this column I’d like to continue that conversation with other questions I ask communities to learn about them.

One of the questions I ask when I visit a community is, “What should I see in the area?”

RPN Today - S1E3 - Double Up Food Bucks

Wed, 11/02/2022 - 13:35

Co-op Grocery Store Opens in Emerson

Fri, 10/28/2022 - 09:39

Oct. 24, 2022, Emerson, Neb.—Emerson’s recently opened Post 60 Market, 109 Main Street, will hold its Grand Opening from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 29.  They invite the public to drop in for taste testing, sign up for door prizes, and check out their amazing product selection.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at noon.  Pulled pork sandwiches will be served at 11 a.m. until gone.

RPN Newsletter—Fourth Quarter 2022

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 09:57

Our newsletter for the fourth quarter of 2022 is here!

Download the latest updates from the RPN team on community development and vitality in Nebraska.

Community Leadership Needed for Rural Development

Fri, 10/14/2022 - 10:09

In rural communities across Nebraska, a cooperative is not a new or novel idea. The ag cooperative is often a recognized punctuation mark in the town skyline or as the economic anchor in the region. Yet co-ops are much more than a grain elevator, the community’s lead employer, or even a grocery store.

Murals Showcase Community Culture Across Nebraska: Rural Fellow Faith Junck Participated in Mural Project in Chadron

Wed, 10/05/2022 - 10:41

Murals have long been part of Nebraska’s culture. Omaha is home to “Fertile Ground,” one of the largest murals in the country at 32,500 square feet. Designers spent 40 years installing 20 murals in the State Capitol. This summer, Rural Fellow Faith Junck contributed to that culture by helping paint the newest of 12 murals in Chadron’s downtown Art Alley.

“I never thought that I would be able to help paint a mural because I’m not super artistic,” Junck said.

But in Chadron, anyone who was willing was welcomed to help.

Applications for Rural Fellowship Program Now Open

Mon, 10/03/2022 - 09:45

Summer 2023 will mark the Rural Fellowship program’s 10th anniversary. The seven-week program, housed in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, places college students in Nebraska towns to help create and execute community-improvement projects.

eCommunities Program Boosts Rural Nebraska’s Entrepreneurial Capacity

Tue, 08/16/2022 - 09:48

The term “community environment” can cover everything from culture to safety to infrastructure. But when Shawn Kaskie, a Rural Prosperity Nebraska extension educator based in Broken Bow, discusses community environment, he has one specific meaning in mind.

“For communities to thrive,” Kaskie said, “leaders and business owners must build and grow a robust entrepreneurial environment.”

Omaha Tribe Receives $671K Grant for Hydroponic Farming

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 12:39

A first-of-its-kind grant will fund the building of three hydroponic greenhouses on the Omaha reservation.

Tribal Planner Mike Grant and Attorney General Theresa Rachel of the Omaha Tribe joined representatives from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Rural Prosperity Nebraska initiative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month to finalize the terms of the $671,000 agriculture grant awarded to the tribe.

RPN Newsletter—Third Quarter 2022

Fri, 07/22/2022 - 11:51

Our newsletter for the second quarter of 2022 is here!

Download the latest updates from the RPN team on community developement and vitality in Nebraska.

UNMC Students Participate in Rural Fellows Program

Wed, 07/13/2022 - 09:08

Public health has long been a concern for rural America. In Nebraska, 34 counties have no hospitals within their borders, 14 of which don’t even have clinics. The 2019 floods and COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted where Nebraska struggles health-wise. However, this summer, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska­–Lincoln’s Rural Fellows program are teaming up to combat this issue. 

Latino Small Business Program Gains Momentum

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 14:42

In a tree-lined neighborhood in northeast Grand Island, Carime Ruvalcaba cares for 10 children in the community’s only English- and Spanish-language daycare.

In 2020, when most daycares were closing due to the pandemic, Ruvalcaba opened Karime Childcare with the help of Sandra Barrera, a Rural Prosperity Nebraska extension educator.

An immigrant from Colombia, Barrera leads the Latino Small Business Program, a Rural Prosperity Nebraska initiative that helps immigrants start businesses across the Cornhusker State.