Southern Farmers Reckon with Push to Raise Tobacco-Buying Age

Where tobacco was once king, some farmers support an effort to raise the age for legal tobacco use from 18 to 21. Others worry the change could soften demand for the product and affect farmers, who are far fewer since the end of the federal tobacco program.... READ MORE

USDA Researchers’ Relocation to Be Complete by End of Sept.

The timeline for moving the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture calls for completing the transition by September 30.... READ MORE

Housing Crunch Sends Bigger Populations to Smaller Towns

“Jobs need beds,” so tech workers moved to cheaper towns. And small towns of fewer than 10,000 grew more quickly than earlier in the decade, attracting more than 142,000 new people last year, according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau estimates... READ MORE

Leader of Rural Voter Project Says Trump Policies Hurt Workers

Former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp criticizes the president on job growth as part of a national rural voter project. The One Country Project will teach Democrats “how to win” in rural areas, says the one-term senator.... READ MORE

Rural America Ready for an Infusion of Investment, Panelists Say

Rural communities lack assets, not opportunities, say participants in a national forum. Groups like the Brookings Institution that argue for metropolitan-only investment strategies ignore the economic and social realities of contemporary America, says one rural researcher.... READ MORE

Rural Policies will be the Focus of International Conference

Rural America isn’t alone in dealing with issues like economic inequality, outmigration, resource extraction, and Indigenous peoples’ rights. A biennial international conference this fall will bring together leaders from the U.S. and other industrialized democracies to explore solutions.... READ MORE

New Missouri State Parks Caught in Partisan Squabble

Outdoor-industry supporters say investment in new state parks could kickstart rural economies. But the Republican state Legislature says former Democratic Governor Jay Nixon misspent funds for the parks. While the fight unfolds, park development is on hold.... READ MORE

Opinion: An Agnostic in the Bible Belt

In my small town, not all of us believe the same thing. But that doesn’t stop us from believing in each other.... READ MORE

As Foreign Investment in U.S. Farmland Grows, Efforts to Ban and Limit the Increase Mount

The latest government data shows that foreign investors control 28.3 million acres of farmland, an area about the size of the state of Ohio. Efforts to pull back the reins on that growth are starting to gain traction.... READ MORE


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