Smithfield’s Plans to Cover Hog Lagoons Could Spur N.C. Biogas Industry

Smithfield announced last year that it will use covered lagoons and digesters on 90 percent of its hog finishing farms within 10 years, a move that could reduce greenhouse gasses, create renewable energy and open opportunities in the biogas sector.... READ MORE

Q&A: Howard Berkes, Veteran of the Rural Beat, to Retire from Public Radio

NPR’s first rural affairs correspondent ends his 38-year broadcast journalism career with a Frontline television documentary on federal regulators who turned a blind eye on a major resurgence in black lung disease.... READ MORE

Speak Your Piece: Rural States and Small Communities Feel Impact of Shutdown

More than three-quarters of federal employees work outside Washington, D.C. The wages that aren’t flowing into rural and remote areas will do disproportionate harm to local economies.... READ MORE

Simple Gifts: When the Ordinary Reveals the Extraordinary

The everyday moments of living in a small community may be telling us something monumental.... READ MORE

Could Telehealth Help Preserve Our Peace of Mind?

Behavioral health is one of the most popular medical services provided via telehealth. The trend may improve healthcare access in rural areas, where there are fewer specialists and services available locally. The key to this improvement is better broadband connectivity.... READ MORE

Pride in the ‘Two-spirited’: Navajo LGBTQ Youth Find Champions in Elders

Across the Navajo Nation, elders have come to the aid of granddaughters and grandsons when the rest of the family rejects them.... READ MORE

Author Q&A: The Drug Epidemic that Began with a Corporate Marketing Plan

Beth Macy’s book, Dopesick, takes the reader to the origins of the current opioid epidemic and traces its destructive path up the Shenandoah Valley. From the points of view of addicts, families, law enforcement, health-care workers, and even dealers, she paints a devastating portrait of the epidemic’s impact on small towns, suburbs, and cities alike.... READ MORE

Clean Energy Jobs Dominate Market in Midwest, Report Says

Jobs in the renewable-energy sector are a bright spot in the rural economy, according to the report from an environmental advocacy group. Jobs are growing in the clean-energy sector more quickly than in any part of the rural economy.... READ MORE

Speak Your Piece: Is Airbnb Killing the Rural Rental Market?

Property owners say they can generate more profit and fewer headaches by renting to vacationers instead of local residents. The boom in short-term rentals could have some long-term consequences in the rural housing market.... READ MORE


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