THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
Why is there a continuing investigation and the huge attendant cost of same into whether or not Russia meddled in the last U.S. presidential election? If Russia did do that, and such has yet to be proven, it was a dismal failure anyway as Clinton got more than two million more in the popular vote. Any alleged ‘meddling’ is certainly now moot and irrelevant! The people do not elect the president, the states do that via the constitutional electoral college. Congress: Let’s get moving on more critical matters and start earning your pay … between so many “recesses!”
Robert L. Gabler
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
HELP YOUR FELLOW TEXANS
I was recently in the Texas Panhandle, surveying the damage from the recent wildfires that have burned large swaths of Texas ranchland. Seeing the damage up close brings home the devastation suffered by the farmers and ranchers there. Their resilient spirit is matched only by their neighbors’ willingness to help them get back on their feet. That’s what makes Texas such a special place. It is that Texas spirit of caring that has brought donations pouring into the State of Texas Agriculture Relief (STAR) Fund. We have already seen more than $100,000 raised by caring Texans for farmers and ranchers in need. If you have been affected by these wildfires or other natural disasters, the STAR Fund is ready to help. We’re standing by to rebuild fences, restore operations or assist with any other ag-related relief. Visit texasagriculture.gov/Home/ProductionAgriculture/DisasterAssistance/STARFund to donate, for more information or to fill out an application. Managed by the Texas Department of Agriculture, the STAR Fund provides emergency assistance to Texas farmers and ranchers affected by disasters like the wildfires that have burned more than 400,000 acres across several counties in the Panhandle. Consider helping a fellow Texan in need by donating to the STAR Fund. Know that you’ll be making a difference in the lives of those who provide us with the food and fiber we all need. Every day, we depend on farmers and ranchers to provide our families with the healthy food and warm clothes that sustain our lives, and now it is our time to help. Remember friends, Texas Agriculture Matters!
Texas Agriculture Commissioner
SMALL BUSINESSES ARE OUR BACKBONE
Small-scale entrepreneurship is a proven strategy to revitalize rural communities. Owning one’s own business can create genuine opportunity across rural America with the support of a modest public investment. The importance of entrepreneurship is particularly profound in the most rural areas. Our analysis of economic conditions in the farm and ranch counties of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas found that nearly 60 percent of job growth in the 1990s came from people creating their own job by starting a small non-farm business. Small entrepreneurship is the one development strategy that consistently works in these communities. This strategy also has the capacity to bring back young people, including those who earn a college degree. Our surveys of rural youth in northeast Nebraska found that half would like to someday own their own farm or business. That opportunity has the potential to draw them back to rural America. Small business development helps rural people acquire assets and create wealth. That is essential. Asset and wealth-building through home ownership, business ownership and enhanced education lead to important long-term psychological and social effects that cannot be achieved by simply increasing income. Businesses and houses bond one to a place and help to build sustainable communities. A commitment to rural asset- and wealth-building strategies can lead to stronger individuals, families and communities. Small businesses are also very philanthropic. In a 2015 survey, an estimate of nearly half of all small businesses gave to charity, with 90 percent of donations supporting local causes. Our own Rural Enterprise Assistance Project provides training, technical assistance, and small loans to entrepreneurs in Nebraska. You can find more information and resources at cfra.org.
Center for Rural Affairs