Trees like these on the banks of the La Moine River in Illinois break up the otherwise flat, treeless landscape of the surrounding farmlands. Photo by Judd McCullum/Flickr

People on the Land: Minor Streams Have Major Impact

Protecting our common heritage of land and water starts at the headwaters with our smallest waterways. We all have something to gain – or lose – if we don’t.... READ MORE


Politics & Elections: Rural-Urban Voters’ False Dichotomy

A recent wave of political stories seeks to explain the “rural” appeal of presidential candidate Donald Trump. But the analysis is marred by a fuzzy and often flat-out wrong definition of rural. Rural voters trend Republican, but in 2014, so did all voters except those in the largest metro areas.... READ MORE

These graphs show the percentage of rural and urban residents who use the Internet broken out by education and income levels. Higher income residents and those with more formal education are more likely to have Internet access at nearly the rate of urban residents. Source: NTIA using NTIA and Census data

Rural-Urban Digital Access Gap Hits Some Subgroups Harder

Lower levels of Internet usage are not uniform across different segments of the rural population. Some rural Americans use the Internet at rates comparable to their urban counterparts, but the rural-urban gap gets more pronounced for those with less education and money.... READ MORE

A rally against Amendment 1, the "right to farm" amendment, held by the group Missouri’s Food for America. Photo by The Missouri Times.

Letter from Langdon: Fixing to Get Agri-Ready

A Missouri campaign to undermine local protection of citizens’ health and safety is being marketed as being friendly to farmers. In reality, the campaign will give the upper hand to corporations over communities.... READ MORE

Photo by Lance Booth.

In the Black: With Chewing Tobacco, It’s Not Easy to Swallow Your Pride

He’ll do anything to fit in with the “real miners.” But does Gary have the guts to pick up a chaw?... READ MORE

Flooding in downtown Richwood, West Virginia, on June 24, 2016.. When the waters receded, the town of 2,000 residents found there was little official help in the first 10 days. Neighbors, former residents, and nearby towns conducted clean-up and relief efforts on their own. Photo by Jeromy Rose.

Help from Their Friends: Flood Relief in a West Virginia Town

In this summer of catastrophic floods – first in West Virginia in late June and now in Louisiana – scores of small communities will face the daunting task of digging out and trying to start over. For one inundated West Virginia town, help came from down the road, across the country, and next door. And a good bit of that help came from folks who once called Richwood, West Virginia, home.... READ MORE

Some dairy farms have begun recruiting immigrant labor, due to quick expansion of their business and an underdeveloped local labor force.

Immigrant Dairy Workers Changing Rural Kansas

A team of Kansas State University sociology students, lead by an associate professor, are learning how immigrant dairy workers from Central America are changing parts of rural Kansas.... READ MORE

Members of a Midwest Energy Cooperative contract crew pull fiber cable in Schoolcraft, Michigan. Midwest is one provider that is developing hybrid systems the bring fixed-wireless access into the equation. Craig Settles says the combination can be a good option for getting rural communities online faster and getting community-focused networks off the ground. Photo courtesy Midwest Energy Cooperative.

Analysis: New Use of Wireless Holds Promise for Rural Broadband

For years, we’ve heard “fiber is the future.” Now some innovators, including Google, say fixed wireless could play a bigger role in getting high-speed access to rural America. Lower costs, quicker installation, and the potential of hybrid wired and wireless networks are some of the reasons.... READ MORE

Appeals Court Sides with States on Muni Broadband Limitations

The FCC has lost a case that tested the regulator's authority to overturn state laws that impede telecommunications. But the judges seemed to accept as fact that the municipal networks provided good service at lower prices.... READ MORE


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