Who will be the next secretary of Agriculture? Richard Oswald has a suggestion. From left to right are former secretaries and their dates of service: Orville Freeman (1961-69), Ezra Taft Benson (1953-61), Earl Butz (1971-76), and a secretary to be named at a later date.

Letter from Langdon: The Sleeper Candidate for Ag Secretary

He’s young, Republican, and knows how to drive a tractor – among other things. If the Trump administration wants to “drain the swamp,” it ought to look outside corporate ag for its next USDA secretary. Richard has a suggestion.... READ MORE

Dynamic Delta Leaders: A Passion for Place and People

Orlando Paden is a young state representative who always knew what he wanted to do. Mary Williams is a nurse practitioner who discovered her calling while slowly walking into her profession. Both look for ways to lead their region toward opportunity.... READ MORE

A man from the Muskogee tribe looks at the Oceti Sakowin shrouded in mist during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, Photo by Stephanie Keith/Reuters

Trahant Reports: The Inevitable Pipeline That Wasn’t

The federal decision to block the Dakota Access Pipeline gives North Dakota the chance to make a new start and be known for something other than storm-trooper police and water cannons.... READ MORE

Photo by Lance Booth.

In the Black: Roof Fall

After a roof fall, cleaning up is tedious business. And that may be the easy part.... READ MORE

Appalachia has both a rich culture and many examples of success, despite what you might see on TV. A couple of participants in the guitar competition at the 2014 Wayne C Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. Photo by Virginia State Parks/Flickr

Speak Your Piece: Just Say No to ‘Poverty Porn’

When Fox News came calling to do a story about Appalachia, it didn’t take long to figure out what they were really after: examples of doom, gloom, and failure. Nonprofits must shift the focus away from negative stereotypes to show what's working in rural America.... READ MORE

Dynamic Delta Leaders: Education Is the Key

The Mississippi Delta is often labeled as a region with "the highest rates of everything bad and lowest of everything good." But young leaders who are returning home to the Delta -- or relocating from beyond the region -- have a different vision. And education is the way to achieve it, they say. This is the first installment of a three-part series on young Delta leaders, produced by Delta resident Timothy Lampkin with Winfield Ezell, and Sean Cokes.


The Albion Community Foundation raised around $4 million to restore the historic Bohm Theatre in Albion, Michigan.

Albion College Leaves the Light on for You

A college president in small town Michigan pulled together a team of unlikely partners to save the school and rebuild the community.... READ MORE


Letter from Langdon: Medicare Helps People; What’s So Diabolical About That?

For people who have been on individual health-insurance plans, Medicare is tremendously effective and affordable. So why do some members of Congress want to "improve" it by turning it over to profit-driven corporations?... READ MORE

They're off to the races as the doors open on Black Friday.

Speak Your Piece: Cyber Monday Reconsidered

Marketers portray Cyber Monday as the clean, socially conscious, and “cool” alternative to Black Friday. Are online shoppers really morally superior to those who prefer to – or must – shop in brick-and-mortar stores with other humans?... READ MORE


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