Last week I was in Kansas City to participate in the 9th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum. AGOA seeks to strengthen the trade relationship between the United States and Africa by reducing tariffs on thousands of African products and providing technical assistance to boost African exports while stimulating economic growth and investment. Each year, the AGOA forum alternates between Washington, D.C. and an African country host. To celebrate AGOA’s tenth year, we decided to do something new, hosting the first half of the forum in Washington, DC and the second portion in Kansas City. Read more »
Recovery Act Broadband Award Helps a Kansas Family Owned Rural Telephone Company and Provides Broadband to Rural ResidentsPosted by
Robert Koch, President and General Manager of H&B Communications in Holyrood, Kansas, displays the story of his family owned rural telephone company on the wall behind his desk. The mural, painted by an area artist, highlights the advancement in telecommunications since the company was founded in the 1950’s by Robert’s grandparents. The historical image also features two of the three generations of family ownership including his mother and grandmother who served as telephone operators in the early decades of the company. Read more »
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) made many significant investments in small private enterprises in rural America. Shooting Star is a farm in Northern California where that investment is paying dividends.
Funds from ARRA, better known as the Recovery Act, made it possible for Matt McCue and Lily Schneider to launch their new farming venture in verdant Suisun Valley. They took the name Shooting Star from a colorful flower growing on nearby hillsides. This young couple, both in their mid-20s, started their organic operation with the help of two Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans, one funded by the Recovery Act. And they are grateful. Read more »
As I have been discussing Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food with producers and local-food advocates across Iowa, one thing has become quite evident: access to capital is a huge barrier. In fact, at a meeting last month to develop an Iowa Food and Farm Plan that will be presented to the state legislature, access to traditional financing was listed as a major obstacle. Read more »
The silverspot butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta) is one of two native Oregon butterfly species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Once found in coastal headlands from northern California to southern Washington, it has disappeared from all but a handful of grassland sites along the Oregon coast. Read more »