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.
This article was first published as part of the UNL Department of Agricultural Economics weekly Cornhusker Economics series on Nov. 29, 2023.
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.
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.
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.
Tell us a little about your family life.
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.
So why do we hear these statements – what is happening? There could be a couple of things going on…