Latest Updates from

Extension, students and community create mural in downtown Beatrice

Wed, 06/12/2024 - 12:04
The city of Beatrice is no stranger to street art. In the last few years, a number of murals have been painted on walls and in alleyways throughout town, all designed by local artists. The production of the most recent mural, however, has been a little different. A collaboration between Nebraska Extension, students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, local business owners, and Beatrice youth, the mural links together the past and present of Nebraska.

Website creates online market for Indigenous entrepreneurs

Wed, 06/12/2024 - 11:51
The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Native American Coalition, both housed at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, have launched a new website providing business development aid for Indigenous entrepreneurs. The Turtle Island Trade Coalition website provides support and resources for Native food producers interested in expanding their customer base and the reach of their business, and free membership applications are currently open.

RPN Today - S2E7 - Business Coaching

Fri, 06/07/2024 - 15:37

Red Carpet Service program focuses on community awareness, tourist attraction

Thu, 06/06/2024 - 11:36

Anyone who has worked a service job has likely been asked these questions: How do I get to this place? Where is the best place to eat? What is something I must see before I leave town? These questions and more are addressed in Rural Prosperity Nebraska’s Red Carpet Service program, a workshop that teaches participants how to help visitors and showcase their community’s best qualities.

Rural Prosperity Nebraska welcomes newest Extension educator

Tue, 05/07/2024 - 11:51
Ben Dutton joins Rural Prosperity Nebraska as the newest member of the community development arm of Nebraska Extension. While Dutton has lived throughout the Midwest and Intermountain West, he graduated high school in Wakefield and has lived in McCook for the last eight years. So Nebraska is home. Dutton will serve the west central portion of the state, including Arthur, Keith, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson and Perkins counties. Read below to learn more about him. Tell us a little about your family life.

Kearney, Hays gain insights through First Impressions program

Mon, 05/06/2024 - 10:41
Kearney, Nebraska, and Hays, Kansas, have a lot in common.

Only a two-and-a-half-hour drive separates the cities, and both are situated along major freeways (I-80 and I-70, respectively). They are both home to universities (the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Fort Hays State University). They are both considered micropolitan communities. And they both recently participated in the First Impressions program, a university-run collaborative outreach effort between two coordinating cities.

Rural Prosperity Nebraska propels rural leadership development forward with statewide virtual conferences

Fri, 04/12/2024 - 10:03
The heartbeat of rural communities is their leadership. Recognizing this vital aspect of community wellbeing, Rural Prosperity Nebraska invites leaders of rural Nebraska to join in a new series of virtual gatherings aimed at fortifying community leadership development.

Following the success of the Leadership Chautauqua held in Kearney last fall, where over 100 community leaders converged for a day of enlightenment and collaboration, Rural Prosperity Nebraska is forging ahead with the next step in leadership development with three Zoom discussions throughout April.

Rural Prosperity Nebraska opens discussion about climate resiliency

Mon, 04/08/2024 - 10:39
Rural Prosperity Nebraska, the community development arm of Nebraska Extension, is kicking off a series of discussions focusing on climate resiliency in rural communities. Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, this project, titled Rural Confluence, seeks to help educators understand and address climate issues that directly impact rural residents. An informational meeting takes place Tuesday in Niobrara. Niobrara area residents are encouraged to attend to learn how to get involved.

RPN Today - S2E6 - Food Sovereignty

Fri, 04/05/2024 - 16:57

Conference Focuses on Entrepreneurial Development in Nebraska Communities

Fri, 03/29/2024 - 09:45
Sidney is welcoming community development professionals from across the country for the 6th annual Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference May 1-2. Hosted by Rural Prosperity Nebraska, the conference features workshops, seminars and keynote lectures by experts in all things community development, from building tourism assets to strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Rural Prosperity Nebraska helps bring broadband to rural Thayer County

Thu, 03/28/2024 - 11:00
A farmer can only send emails from his cellphone while sitting atop his grain silo. A rancher cannot process his cattle because his smart ear tags fail to connect to Wi-Fi. A student takes hours to upload her homework because her internet connection is so slow.

These are not fictional scenarios. They are examples of rural residents who struggle with reliable internet. While many Nebraskans are familiar with these situations, a team in Thayer County has figured out a way to bring state-of-the-art broadband to even its most remote residents.

Buy Fresh Buy Local opens membership registration for 2024 season

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 11:33
Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska announces the opening of registration for membership for its highly-anticipated 2024 season. Spearheaded by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Buy Fresh Buy Local bridges the gap between producers, sellers and buyers eager for foods grown right here in the Cornhusker state.

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.