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  32. <title>Carbon Offsets Bring New Investment to Appalachia&#8217;s Coal Fields, But Most Appalachians Aren&#8217;t Benefitting</title>
  33. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/carbon-offsets-bring-new-investment-to-appalachias-coal-fields-but-most-appalachians-arent-benefitting/2024/02/20/</link>
  34. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/carbon-offsets-bring-new-investment-to-appalachias-coal-fields-but-most-appalachians-arent-benefitting/2024/02/20/#respond</comments>
  35. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Gabe Schwartzman / University of Tennessee]]></dc:creator>
  36. <pubDate>Tue, 20 Feb 2024 20:02:10 +0000</pubDate>
  37. <category><![CDATA[Economy]]></category>
  38. <category><![CDATA[Energy]]></category>
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  43. <p>This story was originally published by The Conversation. Central Appalachia is home to the third-largest concentration of forest carbon offsets traded on the California carbon market. But while these projects bring new investments to Appalachia, most people in Appalachia are not benefiting. The effect of this new economic activity is evident in the Clearfork Valley, [&#8230;]</p>
  44. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/carbon-offsets-bring-new-investment-to-appalachias-coal-fields-but-most-appalachians-arent-benefitting/2024/02/20/">Carbon Offsets Bring New Investment to Appalachia&#8217;s Coal Fields, But Most Appalachians Aren&#8217;t Benefitting</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
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  47. <img decoding="async" src="https://i0.wp.com/counter.theconversation.com/content/217430/count.gif?resize=1%2C1&#038;ssl=1" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important" referrerpolicy="no-referrer-when-downgrade" data-recalc-dims="1" />
  48.  
  49.  
  50.  
  51. <p><em>This story was originally published by <a href="https://theconversation.com/carbon-offsets-bring-new-investment-to-appalachias-coal-fields-but-most-appalachians-arent-benefiting-217430">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>
  52.  
  53.  
  54.  
  55. <p>Central Appalachia is home to the <a href="https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/offsets/overview.pdf">third-largest concentration of forest carbon offsets</a> traded on the California carbon market. But while these projects bring new investments to Appalachia, most people in <a href="https://doi-org.utk.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/03066150.2022.2078710">Appalachia are not benefiting</a>.</p>
  56.  
  57.  
  58.  
  59. <p>The effect of this new economic activity is evident in the <a href="https://storymaps.com/stories/2f4984877e0d42cdbc424d107eefc3ba">Clearfork Valley</a>, a forested region of steep hills and meandering creeks on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.</p>
  60.  
  61.  
  62.  
  63. <p>Rural communities here once relied on coal mining jobs. As the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2021.100990">mines shut down</a>, with the last closing <a href="https://opensourcecoal.org/df_coal_production.php">in 2022</a>, the valley was left with thousands of acres of forests and strip-mined land but fewer ways to make a good living.</p>
  64.  
  65.  
  66.  
  67. <p><iframe id="AacNw" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/AacNw/7/" height="400px" width="100%" style="border: none" frameborder="0"></iframe></p>
  68.  
  69.  
  70.  
  71. <p>Today, corporate landowners and investment funds have placed most of that forest land into carbon offset projects – valuing the trees for their ability to absorb carbon dioxide emissions to help protect the climate.</p>
  72.  
  73.  
  74.  
  75. <p>These <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/wall-street-firm-makes-a-1-8-billion-bet-on-forest-carbon-offset-11667390624">carbon offset projects can be lucrative</a> for the landowner, with proceeds that can run into the millions of dollars. Companies subject to California’s carbon emissions rules are willing to pay projects like these to essentially <a href="https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/compliance-offset-program">cancel out, or offset</a>, the companies’ carbon emissions. However, my research shows that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2022.2078710">few local residents</a> are benefiting.</p>
  76.  
  77.  
  78.  
  79. <p>The projects are part of <a href="https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/losing-ground-final-4-15-21.pdf">a wider</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/ruso.12210">growing trend</a> of investor-owners of rural land making money but providing <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2017.1328305">little local employment, local investment or community involvement</a> in return.</p>
  80.  
  81.  
  82.  
  83. <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Few Local Jobs, Little Economic Benefit</h3>
  84.  
  85.  
  86.  
  87. <p>The rise of carbon forest offset projects in Appalachia has coincided with the historic decline of the coal economy.</p>
  88.  
  89.  
  90.  
  91. <p>Central Appalachia lost 70% of its coal jobs from 2011 to 2023 as its <a href="https://opensourcecoal.org/df_coal_production.php">coal production fell by 75%</a> in that same period. As corporate landowners looked for new revenue streams, they found a burgeoning forest carbon offset market after California instituted a <a href="https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/cap-and-trade-program/about">forest carbon offset protocol</a> in 2011.</p>
  92.  
  93.  
  94.  
  95. <p>Much of the Clearfork Valley was originally owned by the American Association, a British coal corporation that <a href="https://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/?id=p009853">accumulated the land in the 1880s</a>. That property passed between other coal companies before NatureVest, a <a href="https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/who-we-are/how-we-work/finance-investing/naturevest/">climate change-driven investment firm</a> owned by The Nature Conservancy, created an investment fund to purchase the land in 2019.</p>
  96.  
  97.  
  98.  
  99. <p>The previous owner, a forestland investment company, had established carbon offsets on that land in 2015, making <a href="https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/protocols/usforest/forestprotocol2015.pdf">a 125-year commitment</a> to retain or grow the forest carbon stock. When NatureVest purchased the land in 2019, it generated <a href="https://www.environmental-finance.com/content/awards/sustainable-investment-awards-2020/winners/impact-fund-of-the-year-the-nature-conservancys-sustainable-forestry-fund.html">at least US$20 million in proceeds</a> from the sale of additional offsets. The details of <a href="https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/cap-and-trade-program/program-data/summary-market-transfers-report">such transactions are typically private</a>, but offset sales can be structured in a number of ways. They might be one-time payments for existing credits, for example, or futures contracts for the potential of additional credits.</p>
  100.  
  101.  
  102.  
  103. <figure class="wp-block-image"><img decoding="async" src="https://i0.wp.com/images.theconversation.com/files/571770/original/file-20240128-25-lydydm.png?w=780&#038;ssl=1" alt="A map shows large areas of forest in several states that are on the carbon market." data-recalc-dims="1"/><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Forest carbon offset projects in Central Appalachia that are on the California carbon market. The Clearfork Valley is on the Kentucky-Tennessee border in the lower left. (Photo by <a href="https://webmaps.arb.ca.gov/ARBOCIssuanceMap/">California Air Resources Board, ESRI</a>)</figcaption></figure>
  104.  
  105.  
  106.  
  107. <p>The investment fund is attempting to demonstrate that <a href="https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/kentucky/stories-in-kentucky/cumberland-forest">managing land to help protect the climate</a> can also generate revenue for investors.</p>
  108.  
  109.  
  110.  
  111. <p>In Appalachia, offset projects largely involve “improved forestry management.” These offsets <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16380">pay landowners to sequester</a> carbon in trees – additional to what they would have pulled in without the offset payment – while still allowing them to produce timber for sale. In practice, this often means letting trees stand for <a href="https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/VA-Carbon-Sequestration-Infographic.pdf%22%22">longer rotations before cutting for timber</a>.</p>
  112.  
  113.  
  114.  
  115. <p><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-023-00984-2">Recent research</a>, however, indicates that the carbon storage of improved forestry management projects may be getting <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15943">overcounted on the California market</a>, the largest compliance offset market in the Americas. <a href="https://www.wri.org/insights/insider-4-reasons-why-jurisdictional-approach-redd-crediting-superior-project-based">Other approaches to carbon offsets</a> could produce better outcomes for people and the climate.</p>
  116.  
  117.  
  118.  
  119. <p>And while the landowners and investors profit, my research, including dozens of interviews with residents, has also found that former mining <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2022.2078710">communities in this valley have seen little return</a>.</p>
  120.  
  121.  
  122.  
  123. <p>The Nature Conservancy has offered <a href="https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/priority-landscapes/appalachians/stories/cumberland-forest-community-fund/">support to local communities</a>. But while the organization operates <a href="https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/priority-landscapes/appalachians/stories/cumberland-forest-community-fund/">a small grant program</a> from coal mining and gas drilling royalties it receives from the land, the investment in the local economy has been relatively small – <a href="https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/priority-landscapes/appalachians/stories/cumberland-forest-community-fund/">roughly $377,000</a> in the three states since 2019. Furthermore, while <a href="https://mtassociation.org/energy/middlesboro-community-center-adds-solar/">some communities have benefited</a>, these investments <a href="https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/priority-landscapes/appalachians/stories/cumberland-forest-community-fund/">have largely bypassed</a> struggling former coal communities in the Clearfork Valley in Tennessee.</p>
  124.  
  125.  
  126.  
  127. <p>Looking for other revenue sources on these lands, by 2022, The Nature Conservancy had also leased access to nearly <a href="https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/Cumberland_Forest_2022_Impact_Report.pdf">150,000 acres of its Cumberland Forest Project</a>, including parts of the Clearfork Valley, to state agencies and outdoor recreation groups. As a result, permits and fees are often now required to enter much of the forestland.</p>
  128.  
  129.  
  130.  
  131. <p>As one interviewee told my co-author for our forthcoming book, “For three generations my family has been able to walk and use that land, but now I could be arrested for entering it without a permit.”</p>
  132.  
  133.  
  134.  
  135. <h3 class="wp-block-heading">The Rise of TIMOs and Climate ‘Rentierism’</h3>
  136.  
  137.  
  138.  
  139. <p>While a century ago many of the landowners in Appalachia were coal companies and timber companies, today <a href="https://wvpolicy.org/who-owns-west-virginia-in-the-21st-century-2/">they are predominantly</a> <a href="https://doi-org.utk.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/0896920510378764">financialized timber investment management organizations, or TIMOs</a>. TIMOs are financial institutions that manage timberlands to generate returns for institutions, such as endowments and pension funds, and private investors. While NatureVest is more diversified than a TIMO, its timberland investments operate in a similar fashion.</p>
  140.  
  141.  
  142.  
  143. <p>The financial ownership of timberlands is part of the much wider trend of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/SER/mwi008">financialization of the United States economy</a>. Wall Street-based investors have become major owners of all sectors of the U.S. economy since the 1970s, from <a href="https://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/9781501750083/fields-of-gold/">agriculture</a> and <a href="https://www.scielo.br/j/gp/a/JdQdqWNHdn67pNLCJvkmnFr/?lang=en">manufacturing</a> to <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ruso.12210">natural resources</a>.</p>
  144.  
  145.  
  146.  
  147. <p>Financial profits, however, often do not entail job creation or investments in infrastructure in the surrounding communities. Yet the investor-owned timberlands in Central Appalachia do generate <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/wall-street-firm-makes-a-1-8-billion-bet-on-forest-carbon-offset-11667390624">millions of dollars in revenue for their investors</a>.</p>
  148.  
  149.  
  150.  
  151. <figure class="wp-block-image"><img decoding="async" src="https://i0.wp.com/images.theconversation.com/files/571771/original/file-20240128-29-8ffil5.jpg?w=780&#038;ssl=1" alt="The hills above a home have been strip mined, where forests once stood." data-recalc-dims="1"/><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Homes below a coal strip mine in Campbell County, Tennessee, home to part of the Clearfork Valley. (Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/appvoices/7000037829/in/album-72157629262715216/">Appalachian Voices / Flickr</a>)</figcaption></figure>
  152.  
  153.  
  154.  
  155. <p>Political economists have diagnosed the trend of falling employment that accompanies increasing economic activity as partially the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/705396">result of growing rentierism</a>.</p>
  156.  
  157.  
  158.  
  159. <p>Rentierism is a term for <a href="https://doi-org.utk.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/0308518X19873007">generating income predominantly from rents</a> as opposed to income from production that employs people. Rural communities have acutely felt the effects of <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/products/871-rentier-capitalism">increasing rentierism in various sectors since the 1970s</a>.</p>
  160.  
  161.  
  162.  
  163. <p>Researchers have noted <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920510378764">growing trends of rentierism in forestland management</a>. Many TIMOs seek new revenue streams from timberlands outside of wood products and timbering, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2017.1328305">such as in conservation easements</a>. As firms such as <a href="https://c3newsmag.com/private-capital-is-funding-conservation-across-the-country/">NatureVest seek to generate income from controlling carbon stocks or conservation resources</a>, there is now a growing climate rentierism.</p>
  164.  
  165.  
  166.  
  167. <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Rural Resentment and a Crisis of Democracy</h3>
  168.  
  169.  
  170.  
  171. <p>A robust body of research in <a href="https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691191669/the-left-behind">sociology</a> and <a href="https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=759xDwAAQBAJ&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PT8&amp;ots=yOy_PiDU9P&amp;sig=u67Pv8JrCjPN2c3DaHORhJgVXi4#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">political science</a> shows how the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2019.10.045">hollowing out of rural North American economies</a> has fed into a kind of <a href="https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/P/bo22879533.html">rural resentment</a>. Trust in government and democracy is particularly low in rural North America, and not only because of economic woes. As <a href="https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300215359/for-profit-democracy/">sociologist Loka Ashwood documents</a>, it is also because many rural residents believe that the government helps corporations profit at the expense of people.</p>
  172.  
  173.  
  174.  
  175. <p>Carbon offsets in Appalachia, unfortunately, fit within these troubling trends. Government regulation in California generates sizable revenue for corporate landowners, while the rural communities see themselves locked out of the economy.</p>
  176.  
  177.  
  178.  
  179. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity is-style-dots"/>
  180.  
  181.  
  182.  
  183. <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gabe-schwartzman-1486857">Gabe Schwartzman</a> is an assistant professor of geography and sustainability at the <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tennessee-688">University of Tennessee</a>.</em></p>
  184. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/carbon-offsets-bring-new-investment-to-appalachias-coal-fields-but-most-appalachians-arent-benefitting/2024/02/20/">Carbon Offsets Bring New Investment to Appalachia&#8217;s Coal Fields, But Most Appalachians Aren&#8217;t Benefitting</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  185. ]]></content:encoded>
  186. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/carbon-offsets-bring-new-investment-to-appalachias-coal-fields-but-most-appalachians-arent-benefitting/2024/02/20/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  187. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  188. </item>
  189. <item>
  190. <title>USDA Funded Program Works With Wool, Cotton Producers on Climate Smart Practices</title>
  191. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/usda-funded-program-works-with-wool-cotton-producers-on-climate-smart-practices/2024/02/20/</link>
  192. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/usda-funded-program-works-with-wool-cotton-producers-on-climate-smart-practices/2024/02/20/#respond</comments>
  193. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Kristi Eaton]]></dc:creator>
  194. <pubDate>Tue, 20 Feb 2024 11:00:00 +0000</pubDate>
  195. <category><![CDATA[Economy]]></category>
  196. <category><![CDATA[Environment]]></category>
  197. <category><![CDATA[Growth and Development]]></category>
  198. <category><![CDATA[Yonder Report]]></category>
  199. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=122948</guid>
  200.  
  201. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="685" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C685&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="Five white sheep in a field." decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C509&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C868&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C514&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1028&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1371&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C803&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C685&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1050&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C268&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C473&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C685&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  202. <p>Producers will be provided with technical assistance and direct payments related to drought resilience, improved soil health, and increased profitability.</p>
  203. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/usda-funded-program-works-with-wool-cotton-producers-on-climate-smart-practices/2024/02/20/">USDA Funded Program Works With Wool, Cotton Producers on Climate Smart Practices</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  204. ]]></description>
  205. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="685" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C685&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="Five white sheep in a field." decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C509&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C868&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C514&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1028&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1371&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C803&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C685&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1050&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C268&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C473&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kiki-falconer-vIQNJOrEQRc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C685&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  206. <p>A new initiative aims to help wool and cotton producers practice better climate smart land practices that build drought resilience, improve soil health, and can increase profitability of family ranches and farms.</p>
  207.  
  208.  
  209.  
  210. <p>The program, funded through the <a href="https://www.usda.gov/climate-solutions/climate-smart-commodities">Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities in the U.S. Department of Agriculture</a>, provides for $30 million over five years. Cotton will be the focus in the South and in California, while wool will be utilized in New York, California and in the Great Plains region of Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota, said Linda Poole, Northern Great Plains Wool Project Coordinator for the National Center for Appropriate Technology.&nbsp;</p>
  211.  
  212.  
  213.  
  214. <p>“The program is designed to bring together greenhouse gas reduction, emissions and sequestration, along with equity, social justice, including benefits for historically underserved groups &#8211; who, in our case &#8211; in the northern Great Plains &#8211; most of our historically underserved groups are going to be small limited resource beginning-,veteran-tribal members,” she told the Daily Yonder.&nbsp;</p>
  215.  
  216.  
  217.  
  218. <p>Poole said soil health is key to profitability and drought resilience.&nbsp;</p>
  219.  
  220.  
  221.  
  222. <p>“The type of practices that we&#8217;ll be looking at is people who have farmed land trying to incorporate cover crops into their crop rotation will be part of it, no till or reduced till, if they are people who are already doing that,” she added. “A lot of us with sheep in the northern Great Plains are dealing with drought and at the same time wanting to intensify our grazing, so that we can build soil health. And what that really means is that we&#8217;ll be doing prescribed grazing plans that will also require infrastructure investments.”</p>
  223.  
  224.  
  225.  
  226. <p>In terms of the social justice component, Poole said over half of the people who have been onboarded so far are from historically underserved communities. Each of the 100 producers who will sign up to the program over the fives years will create a carbon farm plan, Poole said. Technical and financial assistance will be offered to the producers.&nbsp;</p>
  227.  
  228.  
  229.  
  230. <p>Poole said there are several reasons why a program such as this one is needed now: Textiles are responsible for somewhere between <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2022.973102/full#:~:text=Due%20to%20its%20complex%20supply%20chain%20vis-%C3%A0-vis%20transportation,nearly%2010%25%20of%20world%20GHG%20emissions%20%28UNFCCC%2C%202018%29.">5% and 14% of the global annual climate contribution</a>.</p>
  231.  
  232.  
  233.  
  234. <p>“Then, if you think about what&#8217;s going on with microfiber contamination, in our waterways, in our land, even in the uterine lining of human mothers &#8211; it&#8217;s like, this is a really big thing, not just for carbon, but also when you think about overall health,” she said.&nbsp;</p>
  235.  
  236.  
  237.  
  238. <p>Further, sheep, Poole said, can be a “wonderful entry point to people who want to have livestock integrated in their businesses and their families. They&#8217;re little, they&#8217;re not really dangerous, they&#8217;re affordable.”</p>
  239.  
  240.  
  241.  
  242. <p>Jeff Clark is a registered targhee wool breeder in South Dakota. He’s the first producer in South Dakota to take part in the program.&nbsp;</p>
  243.  
  244.  
  245.  
  246. <p>“The reason that I reached out to them about this program was mainly because of my experience in my previous position, creating the carbon farm plan and seeing the benefit on the margin that we saw on selling our fine wool, through that program that that carbon plan allowed us to develop,” he told the Daily Yonder. “And quite frankly, the carbon plan implements a lot of best management practices that people should be doing anyway.”</p>
  247.  
  248.  
  249.  
  250. <p>He said a lot of producers are hesitant to take part in any program related to “climate.”</p>
  251.  
  252.  
  253.  
  254. <p>“[I’m] just being honest,” he said. “And I was that way until I stepped out and moved this way, and really dove into that world and started to really look at what what it meant, what these people were doing, what are the actual effects of these emissions versus not, and I&#8217;ll be honest, I came to the conclusion that livestock are not a problem.”</p>
  255.  
  256.  
  257.  
  258. <p>He added that there&#8217;s a lot of big corporations and entities that are involved in the sustainable agriculture world that reap a lot of benefit from added margins from marketing.&nbsp;</p>
  259.  
  260.  
  261.  
  262. <p>“And it&#8217;s my goal that smaller producers will be able to better understand and utilize these resources and in order to increase their margin and make their operation more sustainable, but by sustainable, you could cross that right over to profitable,” Clark said.</p>
  263. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/usda-funded-program-works-with-wool-cotton-producers-on-climate-smart-practices/2024/02/20/">USDA Funded Program Works With Wool, Cotton Producers on Climate Smart Practices</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  264. ]]></content:encoded>
  265. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/usda-funded-program-works-with-wool-cotton-producers-on-climate-smart-practices/2024/02/20/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  266. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  267. </item>
  268. <item>
  269. <title>Bitcoin Mining Uses a Lot of Energy. The US Government Is About to Find Out How Much</title>
  270. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/bitcoin-mining-uses-a-lot-of-energy-the-us-government-is-about-to-find-out-how-much/2024/02/20/</link>
  271. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/bitcoin-mining-uses-a-lot-of-energy-the-us-government-is-about-to-find-out-how-much/2024/02/20/#respond</comments>
  272. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Akielly Hu / Grist]]></dc:creator>
  273. <pubDate>Tue, 20 Feb 2024 10:59:00 +0000</pubDate>
  274. <category><![CDATA[Energy]]></category>
  275. <category><![CDATA[Environment]]></category>
  276. <category><![CDATA[repub]]></category>
  277. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=123193</guid>
  278.  
  279. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="576" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="A warehouse filled with computers and green lights" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?w=1600&amp;ssl=1 1600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  280. <p>This story was originally published by Grist. This story also appeared in Grist In 2021, when China banned bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, crypto miners flocked to the United States in search of cheap electricity and looser regulations. In a few short years, the U.S.’s share of global crypto mining operations grew from 3.5 percent to 38 percent, [&#8230;]</p>
  281. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/bitcoin-mining-uses-a-lot-of-energy-the-us-government-is-about-to-find-out-how-much/2024/02/20/">Bitcoin Mining Uses a Lot of Energy. The US Government Is About to Find Out How Much</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  282. ]]></description>
  283. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="576" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="A warehouse filled with computers and green lights" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?w=1600&amp;ssl=1 1600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Bitcoin_mining_farm.jpeg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  284. <p class="has-text-align-center"><em>This story was originally published by <a href="https://grist.org/technology/bitcoin-mining-uses-a-lot-of-energy-the-us-government-is-about-to-find-out-how-much/">Grist</a>. </em></p> <div class="wp-block-group alignright newspack-media-partners">
  285. <div class="wp-block-group__inner-container">
  286. <figure class="wp-block-image size-full is-resized">
  287. <a href="https://grist.org" target="_blank"><img decoding="async" width="200" height="163" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/media-partner-logo-grist.png?fit=200%2C163&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-200x999 size-200x999" alt="Website for Grist" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/media-partner-logo-grist.png?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/media-partner-logo-grist.png?fit=200%2C163&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/media-partner-logo-grist.png?fit=200%2C163&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=400 400w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></a> <figcaption>
  288. This story also appeared in <a href="https://grist.org" target="_blank">Grist</a> </figcaption>
  289. </figure>
  290. </div>
  291. </div>
  292.  
  293. <p>In 2021, when <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/01/what-s-behind-china-s-cryptocurrency-ban/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">China banned bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies</a>, crypto miners flocked to the United States in search of cheap electricity and looser regulations. In a few short years, the U.S.’s share of global crypto mining operations grew <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/09-2022-Crypto-Assets-and-Climate-Report.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">from 3.5 percent to 38 percent</a>, forming the world’s largest crypto mining industry. </p>
  294.  
  295.  
  296.  
  297. <p>The impacts of this shift have not gone unnoticed. From New York to Kentucky to Texas, crypto mining warehouses have vastly increased local electricity demand to power their 24/7 computing operations. Their power use has stressed local grids, raised electricity bills for nearby residents, and kept once-defunct fossil fuel plants running. Yet to date, no one knows exactly how much electricity the U.S. crypto mining industry uses.&nbsp;</p>
  298.  
  299.  
  300.  
  301. <p>That’s about to change as federal officials launch the first comprehensive effort to collect data on cryptocurrency mining’s energy use. This week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an energy statistics arm of the federal Department of Energy, is&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eia.gov/pressroom/releases/press550.php?utm_source=Twitter&amp;utm_medium=EIAsocial&amp;utm_id=Amplification" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">requiring 82 commercial crypto miners</a>&nbsp;to report how much energy they’re consuming. It’s the first survey in a new program aiming to shed light on an opaque industry by leveraging the agency’s unique authority to mandate energy use disclosure from large companies.</p>
  302.  
  303.  
  304.  
  305. <p>“This is nonpartisan data that’s collected from the miners themselves that no one else has,” said Mandy DeRoche, deputy managing attorney in the clean energy program at the environmental law nonprofit Earthjustice. “Understanding this data is the first step to understanding what we can do next.”</p>
  306.  
  307.  
  308.  
  309. <p>Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin bypass the need for financial institutions by adding data to a public ledger, or “blockchain,” to verify all transactions. To win money, computers using energy-intensive mining software race to confirm additions to the blockchain. According to initial estimates published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration last week, cryptocurrency mining could account for between&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=61364" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">0.6 percent and 2.3 percent</a>&nbsp;of total annual U.S. electricity use. To put that into perspective, in 2022, the entire state of Utah consumed about&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/archive/february2023.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">0.8 percent of electricity</a>&nbsp;consumed in the U.S. The state of Washington, home to nearly 8 million people, consumed 2.3 percent.&nbsp;</p>
  310.  
  311.  
  312.  
  313. <p>“It’s a tremendous amount of energy that we don’t have transparency into and that we don’t understand the details about,” DeRoche told Grist. One reason why it’s so difficult to track crypto mining’s energy use is the size of mining facilities, which can range from individual computers to giant warehouses. Smaller facilities are often exempt from local permitting requirements and frequently move to source cheaper electricity. Data on larger operations’ energy use is often hidden in private contracts with local utilities or tied up in litigation over individual facilities, said DeRoche.&nbsp;</p>
  314.  
  315.  
  316.  
  317. <p>The Energy Information Administration, or EIA, is in an unusually powerful position to require greater transparency from crypto miners. Under federal law, the agency can require any company engaged in “major energy consumption” to provide information on its power use. In July 2022 and February 2023, Democratic members of Congress including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Rashida Tlaib&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2023/2/7/23588243/bitcoin-crypto-miners-energy-emissions-data-epa-doe-democrats" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">sent letters</a>&nbsp;to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, calling for the agencies to exercise that authority over crypto miners and “implement a mandatory disclosure regime as rapidly as possible.”</p>
  318.  
  319.  
  320.  
  321. <p>In late January, the EIA sent a&nbsp;<a href="https://subscriber.politicopro.com/eenews/f/eenews/?id=0000018d-60c7-da7a-abcd-60e79e2d0000" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">letter</a>&nbsp;to the White House Office of Management and Budget requesting emergency approval to survey crypto mining facilities, taking the first step in creating such a regime. The letter raised concerns that the price of bitcoin had&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/15/bitcoin-btc-price-is-up-50percent-this-year-outperforming-stocks-and-gold.html" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">increased 50 percent</a>&nbsp;in the last three months, incentivizing more mining activity that could stress local power grids already under strain from cold weather and winter storms.&nbsp;</p>
  322.  
  323.  
  324.  
  325. <p>“Given the emerging and rapidly changing nature of this issue and because we cannot quantitatively assess the likelihood of public harm, we feel a sense of urgency to generate credible data that would provide insight into this unfolding issue,” EIA Administrator Joseph DeCarolis wrote in the letter. The White House approved the survey on January 26.&nbsp;</p>
  326.  
  327.  
  328.  
  329. <p>While its total electricity use is poorly understood, cryptocurrency mining’s impacts on utility bills and carbon pollution have been widely documented. A recent analysis by the energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie found that bitcoin mining in Texas has already raised electricity costs for residents by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.woodmac.com/news/opinion/the-key-takeaways-from-our-pjm-miso-and-ercot-seasonal-outlook-webinars/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">$1.8 billion per year</a>. In the winter of 2018, utility bills for residents in Plattsburgh, New York, rose&nbsp;<a href="https://www.pressrepublican.com/news/local_news/psc-allows-higher-rates-on-cryptocurrency-plants/article_7ea71709-c1d3-5d6e-81ac-d35c91c50f5e.html" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">by up to $300</a>&nbsp;as nearby&nbsp;<a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/04/18/1049331/bitcoin-cryptocurrency-cryptomining-new-york/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">bitcoin miners gobbled up low-cost hydropower</a>, forcing the city to buy more expensive electricity elsewhere.&nbsp;</p>
  330.  
  331.  
  332.  
  333. <p>Crypto’s skyrocketing electricity demand has also revived previously shuttered fossil fuel power generators. Near Dresden, New York, the formerly shut-down Greenidge natural gas plant reopened in 2017&nbsp;<a href="https://grist.org/technology/bitcoin-greenidge-seneca-lake-cryptocurrency/">exclusively to power bitcoin mining</a>. In Indiana, a coal-fired plant slated to power down in 2023 will now keep operating, and a crypto mining facility is setting up shop next door. AboutBit, the crypto mining startup that owns the facility,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.indystar.com/story/news/environment/2023/12/05/crypto-mine-comes-to-indiana-and-major-polluting-coal-plant-stays-open/70992299007/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">told the Indianapolis outlet IndyStar</a>&nbsp;that the facility had nothing to do with the coal plant remaining open. DeRoche pointed to other gas plants in&nbsp;<a href="https://earthjustice.org/press/2023/environmental-groups-file-lawsuit-challenging-new-york-public-service-commissions-approval-of-fracked-gas-powered-crypto-mining-operations" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">New York</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://earthjustice.org/press/2023/kentucky-rejects-controversial-subsidies-for-cryptomining-company" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Kentucky</a>&nbsp;where crypto mining operations have created renewed demand for fossil fuels.&nbsp;</p>
  334.  
  335.  
  336.  
  337. <p>In Texas, crypto miners are also paid by the state’s power grid operator to shut down during heat waves and other periods of high demand. Since 2020, five facilities in Texas have made&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/09/business/bitcoin-mining-electricity-pollution.html" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">at least $60 million</a>&nbsp;from the program, according to The New York Times. Those subsidies come without much payoff or jobs for local residents, DeRoche said: Even large mining operations employ at most only a few dozen people, the Times reported.&nbsp;</p>
  338.  
  339.  
  340.  
  341. <p>Bitcoin mining companies, however, maintain that they benefit local residents. Riot Platforms, one of the country’s biggest bitcoin mining firms, stated in a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.riotplatforms.com/riot-responds-to-recent-inquiries-regarding-its-power-strategy/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">press release</a>&nbsp;in September that the company “employs hundreds of Texans and is helping to revitalize communities that had experienced economic hardship.” Crypto mining businesses also dispute claims that they overuse energy resources. In a&nbsp;<a href="https://bitcoinminingcouncil.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Bitcoin_Letter_to_the_Environmental_Protection_Agency.pdf" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">May 2022 letter</a>&nbsp;to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bitcoin Mining Council, a group representing bitcoin mining companies, made the dubious claim that “Bitcoin miners have no emissions whatsoever.” The group added, “Digital asset miners simply buy electricity that is made available to them on the open market, just the same as any industrial buyer.”</p>
  342.  
  343.  
  344.  
  345. <p>Policymakers are finally starting to catch up to the industry’s impacts on the climate and neighboring communities. In November 2022, the state of New York enacted a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/22/nyregion/crypto-mining-ban-hochul.html" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">two-year moratorium</a>&nbsp;on new crypto mining facilities that source power from fossil fuel plants.&nbsp;</p>
  346.  
  347.  
  348.  
  349. <p>The EIA’s surveys of crypto mining companies beginning this week will identify “the sources of electricity used to meet cryptocurrency mining demand,” DeCarolis, the EIA administrator, said in a press release. The data will be published on the EIA’s website later this year.&nbsp;</p>
  350. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/bitcoin-mining-uses-a-lot-of-energy-the-us-government-is-about-to-find-out-how-much/2024/02/20/">Bitcoin Mining Uses a Lot of Energy. The US Government Is About to Find Out How Much</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  351. ]]></content:encoded>
  352. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/bitcoin-mining-uses-a-lot-of-energy-the-us-government-is-about-to-find-out-how-much/2024/02/20/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  353. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  354. </item>
  355. <item>
  356. <title>Iowa Researcher Proposes Subsidies to Bring Cardiac Care to Rural Areas</title>
  357. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/iowa-researcher-proposes-subsidies-to-bring-cardiac-care-to-rural-areas/2024/02/19/</link>
  358. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/iowa-researcher-proposes-subsidies-to-bring-cardiac-care-to-rural-areas/2024/02/19/#respond</comments>
  359. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Liz Carey]]></dc:creator>
  360. <pubDate>Mon, 19 Feb 2024 11:00:00 +0000</pubDate>
  361. <category><![CDATA[Health]]></category>
  362. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=122257</guid>
  363.  
  364. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="683" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C507&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1045&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C267&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C471&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  365. <p>Instead of relocating cardiology specialists to rural areas, research suggests that a well calculated subsidy for travel could sustain right levels of care despite dropping numbers of cardiologists around the country.</p>
  366. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/iowa-researcher-proposes-subsidies-to-bring-cardiac-care-to-rural-areas/2024/02/19/">Iowa Researcher Proposes Subsidies to Bring Cardiac Care to Rural Areas</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  367. ]]></description>
  368. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="683" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C507&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1045&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C267&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C471&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/robina-weermeijer-z8_-Fmfz06c-unsplash-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  369. <p>Luring cardiologists to rural parts of Iowa may mean subsidizing their salaries, a new study has found.</p>
  370.  
  371.  
  372.  
  373. <p>Tom Gruca, a marketing professor at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, looked at data from more than 40 years of public health in his state. His study,<a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00222429231207830"> Bringing the Doctor to the Patients: Cardiology Outreach to Rural Areas</a>, found that paying doctors to participate in traveling practice models could help alleviate the coming cardiologist shortage in his state.&nbsp;</p>
  374.  
  375.  
  376.  
  377. <p>Using subsidies and an existing Visiting Consultant Clinic (VCC) model would be a better and more cost-effective way to get cardiology care to rural patients, he said.</p>
  378.  
  379.  
  380.  
  381. <p>A VCC model is a formal arrangement between a rural hospital or clinic and a specialist physician, typically from an urban area nearby. In a VCC arrangement, the specialists travel to rural areas on a regular basis to see patients in their own communities. There, they can use the rural hospital to examine them and provide basic support and non-invasive procedures, and treat them in larger hospitals for more complex procedures.</p>
  382.  
  383.  
  384.  
  385. <p>“The policy that the American Heart Association and everybody else always talks about is let&#8217;s get doctors to move to rural areas,” Gruca said in an interview with the Daily Yonder. “That might work with the primary care physician because if there&#8217;s a hospital there, there&#8217;s probably enough equipment and staff for them to do what they&#8217;re doing. This will not work for almost any specialist because they need the imaging equipment, the surgical equipment, the surgery nurses, and all that other stuff to do their jobs.”</p>
  386.  
  387.  
  388.  
  389. <p>The VCC model is used in every state, he said. Looking at the numbers the research found that the model would not only provide rural patients with access to care, but save money.</p>
  390.  
  391.  
  392.  
  393. <p>Putting a cardiologist in a rural community would mean the doctor would not have enough patients or patient visits to support their practice, Gruca said. And paying cardiologists on a per mile basis to drive to rural communities would be excessively expensive. In some cases, getting doctors to give up patient time to spend up to three hours of “windshield time” to get rural communities to participate in the VCC model was a challenge.</p>
  394.  
  395.  
  396.  
  397. <p>His research found that a state investment of about $430,000 per year would provide doctors with the necessary funding to cover “windshield time” and still provide current levels of cardiology coverage in the state.</p>
  398.  
  399.  
  400.  
  401. <p>Getting that cardiology care to rural communities is important on a number of levels, he said. First, rural residents are more likely to have cardiology issues. According<a href="https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.118.004961"> to one study</a>, between 2010 and 2015, the death rate for rural residents from coronary heart disease was significantly higher than it was for those in urban areas. And a<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7862426/#:~:text=Rural%20stroke%20patients%20have%20higher%20mortality%20than%20urban%20counterparts%20likely,to%20prompt%20pre%2Dhospital%20care."> 2017 study found that people in rural areas</a> have a 30 percent higher risk of dying from a stroke due to their increased chronic disease, and reduced access to pre-hospital care.</p>
  402.  
  403.  
  404.  
  405. <p>Second, research shows that rural residents who have access to cardiology care are better off for it.</p>
  406.  
  407.  
  408.  
  409. <p>“What we can say is that the difference between having VCC outreach and not having VCC outreach means anywhere between 700,000 and a million rural residents having better access,” he said. “And studies show that Medicaid patients who see a specialist at least once a year are way more likely to stay out of the hospital and way more likely to live for another year.”</p>
  410.  
  411.  
  412.  
  413. <p>Even more important, he said, is that rural America is facing a pending shortage of cardiologists. Currently, the state has fewer than 200 cardiologists, Gruca said, almost all of them in urban areas. Nationally, the number of cardiologists is expected to decline by as much as 10% due to retirement and aging workloads. While fellowship programs graduate about 1,500 new cardiologists a year, he said, about 2,000 leave the practice annually.</p>
  414.  
  415.  
  416.  
  417. <p>“I thought, what’s going to happen when the number of cardiologists goes down?” he said. “When this shortage actually hits… If we lose 10% of our current cardiologists… there are a lot of cities (in Iowa) that will get no outreach at all.”</p>
  418.  
  419.  
  420.  
  421. <p>Similar programs have worked in Australia, he said. The same kind of subsidies could be successful in encouraging specialist physicians to work in rural areas as well.</p>
  422.  
  423.  
  424.  
  425. <p>Even though the program was expensive, he said, it will still save states money over the alternative.</p>
  426.  
  427.  
  428.  
  429. <p>“We looked at what it would take to hire people and put them into rural areas and the cost was many, many times (the annual subsidies) simply because they would have very little to do,” he said. “If we pay them some amount to do this outreach and we build a mathematical model to figure out how much would we have to pay them per mile or per minute… it&#8217;s actually really many, many, many times the $400,000 for the subsidy that we calculated.”</p>
  430. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/iowa-researcher-proposes-subsidies-to-bring-cardiac-care-to-rural-areas/2024/02/19/">Iowa Researcher Proposes Subsidies to Bring Cardiac Care to Rural Areas</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  431. ]]></content:encoded>
  432. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/iowa-researcher-proposes-subsidies-to-bring-cardiac-care-to-rural-areas/2024/02/19/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  433. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  434. </item>
  435. <item>
  436. <title>In Small-Town Nebraska, With Suicide Rates High, One Family Delivers Hope for Thousands </title>
  437. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/in-small-town-nebraska-with-suicide-rates-high-one-family-delivers-hope-for-thousands/2024/02/19/</link>
  438. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/in-small-town-nebraska-with-suicide-rates-high-one-family-delivers-hope-for-thousands/2024/02/19/#respond</comments>
  439. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Bowling / Flatwater Free Press]]></dc:creator>
  440. <pubDate>Mon, 19 Feb 2024 10:59:00 +0000</pubDate>
  441. <category><![CDATA[Health]]></category>
  442. <category><![CDATA[repub]]></category>
  443. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=123074</guid>
  444.  
  445. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="683" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?w=2048&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=760%2C507&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1296%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1536%2C1025&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1568%2C1046&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=400%2C267&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=706%2C471&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  446. <p>Content warning: This story discusses suicide. Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you or a loved one needs help. This story was originally published by Flatwater Free Press. Jeremy Koch drove down a country road in the darkness, carting his 14-year-old son to 5:30 a.m. basketball practice. He glimpsed a Dodge Ram pickup [&#8230;]</p>
  447. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/in-small-town-nebraska-with-suicide-rates-high-one-family-delivers-hope-for-thousands/2024/02/19/">In Small-Town Nebraska, With Suicide Rates High, One Family Delivers Hope for Thousands </a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  448. ]]></description>
  449. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="683" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?w=2048&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=760%2C507&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1296%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1536%2C1025&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=1568%2C1046&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=400%2C267&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?resize=706%2C471&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_3.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  450. <p><em><strong>Content warning: This story discusses suicide. Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you or a loved one needs help.</strong></em></p>
  451.  
  452.  
  453.  
  454. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity"/>
  455.  
  456.  
  457.  
  458. <p class="has-text-align-center"><em>This story was originally published by <a href="https://flatwaterfreepress.org/grassroots-grief-in-small-town-nebraska-with-suicide-rates-high-a-family-delivers-hope-for-thousands/">Flatwater Free Press</a>.</em></p>
  459.  
  460.  
  461.  
  462. <p>Jeremy Koch drove down a country road in the darkness, carting his 14-year-old son to 5:30 a.m. basketball practice. He glimpsed a Dodge Ram pickup on the shoulder, its engine revving, exhaust billowing from the tailpipe into the January morning.</p>
  463.  
  464.  
  465.  
  466. <p>“Maybe he’s stuck,” Koch, 41, thought as he pulled up, walked to the driver’s side and tapped on the window.&nbsp;</p>
  467.  
  468.  
  469.  
  470. <p>The man inside didn’t move. Koch opened the door. The man stayed slumped, a pistol in his hand, his foot on the gas.</p>
  471.  
  472.  
  473.  
  474. <p>Koch called 911. Then he called his wife, Bailey, back home 4 miles away.</p>
  475.  
  476.  
  477.  
  478. <p>“Why does this keep happening?” he wondered.</p>
  479.  
  480.  
  481.  
  482. <p>It was the question he asked himself when he woke up from the last of his five suicide attempts. When his teenage son attempted to do the same. When his father died by suicide in 2019. Now another family’s story would be altered.</p>
  483.  
  484.  
  485.  
  486. <p>Koch knows what the experts say. It’s harder to see a therapist here. That’s why small-town Nebraska suicide rates continue accelerating past those in the state’s cities. But he also believes people here can author their own solutions.</p>
  487.  
  488.  
  489.  
  490. <p>In 2014, Koch, a landscaper, and his wife Bailey, a special education teacher at Holdrege Middle School, started a Facebook page to catalog their struggles and successes. Others shared their own stories and offered support through a network that now reaches 10,000 followers.</p>
  491.  
  492.  
  493.  
  494. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="572" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2.jpg?resize=780%2C572&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123085" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C951&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C558&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C564&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1127&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1503&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C881&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C751&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1151&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C294&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C518&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Greenhouse-photo-2-1296x951.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Jeremy Koch waters plants in one of Natural Escapes’ two greenhouses. The Cozad business sells trees and garden, tropical and flowering plants. In winter months, customers can paint their own pottery. (<strong>Photo by Lori Potter/Flatwater Free Press</strong>)</figcaption></figure>
  495.  
  496.  
  497.  
  498. <p>Meanwhile, state and federally funded programs have given thousands free therapy and tried to grow the rural mental health workforce.</p>
  499.  
  500.  
  501.  
  502. <p>Nebraska’s rural suicide rate is above the national average but has stayed lower than rural rates in neighboring states. That didn’t offer comfort on January 19 as Bailey, 39, climbed into her yellow Ford Bronco, the one with the family’s mental health Facebook page’s logo plastered on the back windshield.</p>
  503.  
  504.  
  505.  
  506. <p>How would her 14-year-old son handle this? Would her husband be OK? How much grief can her community take?</p>
  507.  
  508.  
  509.  
  510. <p>“I remember thinking we were going to change the world, and it was going to end all suicides,” Bailey said. “You get humbled real fast.”</p>
  511.  
  512.  
  513.  
  514. <figure class="wp-block-image size-full"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="563" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Nebraska-metro_rural-suicide-rates.png?resize=780%2C563&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123091" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Nebraska-metro_rural-suicide-rates.png?w=796&amp;ssl=1 796w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Nebraska-metro_rural-suicide-rates.png?resize=760%2C549&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Nebraska-metro_rural-suicide-rates.png?resize=768%2C555&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Nebraska-metro_rural-suicide-rates.png?resize=400%2C289&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Nebraska-metro_rural-suicide-rates.png?resize=706%2C510&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Nebraska-metro_rural-suicide-rates.png?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></figure>
  515.  
  516.  
  517.  
  518. <h3 class="wp-block-heading"><strong>‘Don’t Tell Anybody’</strong></h3>
  519.  
  520.  
  521.  
  522. <p>Bailey and Jeremy Koch grew up in central Nebraska — Jeremy in Cozad, a town of 3,900 people, and Bailey a few miles away in Eustis, a village of 400. Each has deep family roots.</p>
  523.  
  524.  
  525.  
  526. <p>Here, in central Nebraska, Bailey and Jeremy Koch learned to talk – or to keep quiet – about mental health.&nbsp;</p>
  527.  
  528.  
  529.  
  530. <p>Bailey remembers being 12, terrified in the backseat as her mother raced toward her father’s feedlot. Between cigarettes she told Bailey she was going to kill him, then herself. When they arrived, her mother crumpled to the ground and sobbed. Let’s get her help, Bailey remembers her dad saying.</p>
  531.  
  532.  
  533.  
  534. <p>“I grew up with it being a discussion. There wasn&#8217;t any shame in mom needing help, mom needing medication or anything like that.”</p>
  535.  
  536.  
  537.  
  538. <p>“And he,” Bailey said, looking at Jeremy sitting next to her at their dining room table, “grew up the complete opposite.”&nbsp;</p>
  539.  
  540.  
  541.  
  542. <p>Jeremy remembers being 10 years old, crowded among family in his grandparents’ house. Grandma was back from the hospital in North Platte where she was treated for depression, Jeremy remembers his uncle saying before he put his finger over his lips. “Shush.”</p>
  543.  
  544.  
  545.  
  546. <p>Jeremy understood: don’t talk about it.</p>
  547.  
  548.  
  549.  
  550. <p>“I can see where that was affecting me when I was diagnosed in 2009,” Jeremy said. “Because my first thought was, ‘Don&#8217;t tell anybody. Who&#8217;s gonna hire the crazy landscaper?’”</p>
  551.  
  552.  
  553.  
  554. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="520" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=780%2C520&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123092" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=1296%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=760%2C507&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=1536%2C1025&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=1568%2C1046&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=400%2C267&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?resize=706%2C471&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2.jpg?w=2048&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_2-1296x864.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">The Koch family. From left: Hudson, 17, Jeremy, 41, Asher, 14 and Bailey, 39. The family, posing for a portrait outside their home near Eustis on January 26, 2024, has long struggled with mental health issues. The family has found healing by sharing their story online through a Facebook page it created in 2014. Since then, Anchoring Hope for Mental Health has added more than 10,000 followers who routinely share their own stories of mental health. (Photo by Chris Bowling/Flatwater Free Press)</figcaption></figure>
  555.  
  556.  
  557.  
  558. <p>Stigma keeps many from seeking help, said Quinn Lewandowski who develops behavioral health strategies through the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center. In a small town, everyone can spot your car outside the therapist’s office. Men worry that asking for help makes them look weak.</p>
  559.  
  560.  
  561.  
  562. <p>“They’re suffering in silence until things get to an extreme breaking point,” he said.</p>
  563.  
  564.  
  565.  
  566. <p>No one knew Jeremy had convinced himself he couldn’t provide for his family. Few knew he’d attempted suicide multiple times or that it wasn’t an accident when he steered his truck toward a semi-truck hauling a combine on February 16, 2012. </p>
  567.  
  568.  
  569.  
  570. <p>Jeremy remembers bowing his head in prayer before he clipped the semi. He spun into a second truck that flattened his kids’ car seats in the backseat. Emergency responders ripped open his half-ton pickup like the top of a soup can. People delivered meals and fundraised for his recovery. They wouldn’t have been as supportive had they known the truth, Jeremy thought then.</p>
  571.  
  572.  
  573.  
  574. <p>The hiding became unbearable to Bailey. That changed the night the couple ran into Jeremy’s business mentor in a Menards parking lot.</p>
  575.  
  576.  
  577.  
  578. <p>“So Rocky, just this big boisterous guy, says, ‘What are you guys doing in Kearney on a Monday night?’” Jeremy remembered. “And I was getting ready to lie.”</p>
  579.  
  580.  
  581.  
  582. <p>“You could see it on his face,” Bailey said. “I literally stepped in between him and Rocky and I said, ‘Oh, we&#8217;re going to a mental health support group. Jeremy has depression.’”</p>
  583.  
  584.  
  585.  
  586. <p>Jeremy’s face flushed. He thought he might pass out.</p>
  587.  
  588.  
  589.  
  590. <p>“I struggled with depression,” Rocky’s wife said. “What do you do that helps?”</p>
  591.  
  592.  
  593.  
  594. <p>“Wait, what?” Jeremy remembers thinking. “She wants to keep talking to me?”</p>
  595.  
  596.  
  597.  
  598. <h3 class="wp-block-heading"><strong>‘Never Enough’</strong></h3>
  599.  
  600.  
  601.  
  602. <p>The first posts read like diary entries: Bailey’s joy when Jeremy traded his rifles for bows during hunting season in 2014; her pride when her then 8-year-old son told his friends to be nice to people with disabilities, even ones they can’t see like his dad’s depression. Over time more people paid attention to Anchoring Hope for Mental Health, the Facebook page Bailey and Jeremy started to be more open about their lives.</p>
  603.  
  604.  
  605.  
  606. <p>“Your story helped me to keep going,” a comment on a January 2024 post reads.</p>
  607.  
  608.  
  609.  
  610. <p>Another: “I started following you after I had gone through a crisis myself — and after a lot of counseling I have come to the conclusion if we don’t talk no one knows and nothing will change.”</p>
  611.  
  612.  
  613.  
  614. <p>Stacey Cahill knows how badly this community needs to talk. She’s a therapist in nearby Lexington, one of the few in the area. Jeremy’s been her client for 15 years.</p>
  615.  
  616.  
  617.  
  618. <p>Her waiting list for new appointments is two months long.&nbsp;</p>
  619.  
  620.  
  621.  
  622. <p>The problem is worse elsewhere in the state. About 100,000 Nebraskans live in counties with no mental health workers, according to the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Nearly one-third of the state’s residents live in a county with less than five providers.</p>
  623.  
  624.  
  625.  
  626. <figure class="wp-block-image size-full"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="548" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Mental-Health-provider-shortage-areas.png?resize=780%2C548&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123093" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Mental-Health-provider-shortage-areas.png?w=796&amp;ssl=1 796w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Mental-Health-provider-shortage-areas.png?resize=760%2C534&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Mental-Health-provider-shortage-areas.png?resize=768%2C539&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Mental-Health-provider-shortage-areas.png?resize=400%2C281&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Mental-Health-provider-shortage-areas.png?resize=706%2C496&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/graphic_Mental-Health-provider-shortage-areas.png?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></figure>
  627.  
  628.  
  629.  
  630. <p>Seeing a therapist can mean an hour’s drive. Telehealth is a solution, though unreliable internet and preferences for in-person therapy can be an obstacle. For speciality care Jeremy had to go to Dallas. With his medication dialed in, the suicidal thoughts faded then disappeared.</p>
  631.  
  632.  
  633.  
  634. <p>Since 2009 Nebraska has funded a workforce development program meant to boost its number of mental health providers, including those in small towns. The UNMC-run Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska offers scholarships and training out of satellite offices in Kearney, Wayne and the Panhandle.</p>
  635.  
  636.  
  637.  
  638. <p>Since 2010 the state’s behavioral health workforce has grown 22%. But only a fraction of those workers are outside metro counties.</p>
  639.  
  640.  
  641.  
  642. <p>“The truth is that there will never be enough,” said program director Dr. Marley Doyle.</p>
  643.  
  644.  
  645.  
  646. <p>To do better, Doyle thinks, Nebraska needs to seek different ways to deliver care. </p>
  647.  
  648.  
  649.  
  650. <h3 class="wp-block-heading"><strong>Connecting Communities</strong></h3>
  651.  
  652.  
  653.  
  654. <p>A short walk from Bailey Koch’s classroom at Holdrege Middle School, past the shoulder-high lockers and linoleum-floored cafeteria, Stefanie Neal sits in her office and listens.&nbsp;</p>
  655.  
  656.  
  657.  
  658. <p>Kids come here to talk. A blue Bic pen tucked in her bun of blond hair seems poised to jot a quick note. She’s Holdrege Public Schools first mental health practitioner, a rare job in rural Nebraska, she said, where kids need to learn not to hide from their emotions.</p>
  659.  
  660.  
  661.  
  662. <p>“If you do that, you won’t know yourself very well,” Neal said, “and you won&#8217;t be able to really connect with others.”</p>
  663.  
  664.  
  665.  
  666. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="520" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=780%2C520&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123094" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=1296%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=760%2C507&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=1536%2C1025&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=1568%2C1046&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=400%2C267&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?resize=706%2C471&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1.jpg?w=2048&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-MH_1-1296x864.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Stefanie Neal sits in front of her desk at Holdrege Middle School on Jan. 26, 2024. Neal started the 2023-2024 school year as Holdrege Public Schools’ first mental health practitioner, providing counseling and emergency assistance to students in the central Nebraska town. (<strong>Photo by Chris Bowling/Flatwater Free Press</strong>)</figcaption></figure>
  667.  
  668.  
  669.  
  670. <p>That’s the guiding force behind all of Nebraska’s suicide prevention work, said Dave Miers, who cofounded the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition in 1999. That can mean training primary care physicians to spot suicidal thoughts, putting more mental health workers like Neal in schools or launching peer-led teams to support families after a suicide.</p>
  671.  
  672.  
  673.  
  674. <p>Since the early 2000s, Nebraskans have also been able to call the state’s Rural Response Hotline to request free therapy vouchers. In the past decade, the hotline has delivered 36,000 vouchers. The goal of all this work: Connection.</p>
  675.  
  676.  
  677.  
  678. <p>That’s gotten harder in recent years as towns shrink, businesses close and schools consolidate. A 2023 University of Nebraska-Lincoln poll found the percentage of rural residents’ who think life is getting worse is increasing.&nbsp;</p>
  679.  
  680.  
  681.  
  682. <p>Neal’s watching a local solution to this widespread problem be built in real time.&nbsp;</p>
  683.  
  684.  
  685.  
  686. <p>Holdrege’s children and teenagers are coming to her. Then coming back.</p>
  687.  
  688.  
  689.  
  690. <p>Students who see her come to school more, Neal said. They get better grades.&nbsp;</p>
  691.  
  692.  
  693.  
  694. <p>The counselor almost daily visits the classrooms of teachers like Bailey. Together, they brainstorm ways to help students and families.</p>
  695.  
  696.  
  697.  
  698. <p>“(We say) ‘Let&#8217;s do a prayer request. Let&#8217;s do meals. How can we help?’” Neal said. “Then all of a sudden, it&#8217;s all taken care of.”</p>
  699.  
  700.  
  701.  
  702. <h3 class="wp-block-heading"><strong>The Next Generation</strong></h3>
  703.  
  704.  
  705.  
  706. <p>Jeremy sits at the Koch family’s long dining room table, nodding his head as Bailey says sometimes she feels like a failure. He thinks about the last time he offered to get his dad special mental health treatment.</p>
  707.  
  708.  
  709.  
  710. <p>“No, I’m OK,” his father said. He died by suicide not long after.</p>
  711.  
  712.  
  713.  
  714. <p>Jeremy raised his son Hudson to talk about his feelings. The now 17-year-old attempted suicide three times before he found stability. </p>
  715.  
  716.  
  717.  
  718. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="582" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3.jpg?resize=780%2C582&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123096" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C967&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C567&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C573&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1147&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1529&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=200%2C150&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C896&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C764&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1170&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C299&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C527&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/GreenHouse-Photo-3-1296x967.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Hudson Koch, a Cozad High School junior, trims a dwarf jade plant. (<strong>Photo by Lori Potter/Flatwater Free Press</strong>)</figcaption></figure>
  719.  
  720.  
  721.  
  722. <p>It took a while to learn: There will be steps back after steps forward. It’s a disease, like cancer. There’s no quick fix.&nbsp;</p>
  723.  
  724.  
  725.  
  726. <p>But the more the family embraces their story, the more it feels like they’re getting somewhere new. Somewhere better.&nbsp;</p>
  727.  
  728.  
  729.  
  730. <p>“We can help our children … turn it into something beautiful, and a way to help people. And as much as I hate how much our kids have had to go through … I think that they are so far ahead of where we were,” Bailey said through tears. “They get it. They’re incredible.”</p>
  731.  
  732.  
  733.  
  734. <p>She puts an arm around Hudson as Jeremy smiles. “My aunt always says our kids win,” he said. “The next generation is the one that&#8217;s benefiting from the hard work of the generations before.”</p>
  735. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/in-small-town-nebraska-with-suicide-rates-high-one-family-delivers-hope-for-thousands/2024/02/19/">In Small-Town Nebraska, With Suicide Rates High, One Family Delivers Hope for Thousands </a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  736. ]]></content:encoded>
  737. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/in-small-town-nebraska-with-suicide-rates-high-one-family-delivers-hope-for-thousands/2024/02/19/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  738. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  739. </item>
  740. <item>
  741. <title>45 Degrees North: Syncing With The Seasons</title>
  742. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/45-degrees-north-syncing-with-the-seasons/2024/02/16/</link>
  743. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/45-degrees-north-syncing-with-the-seasons/2024/02/16/#respond</comments>
  744. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Donna Kallner]]></dc:creator>
  745. <pubDate>Fri, 16 Feb 2024 11:00:00 +0000</pubDate>
  746. <category><![CDATA[Rural Life]]></category>
  747. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=121663</guid>
  748.  
  749. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="576" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?w=1920&amp;ssl=1 1920w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  750. <p>Learning to sync with the seasons can be challenging for newcomers to rural life – especially the seasons that don't show up in any almanac. </p>
  751. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/45-degrees-north-syncing-with-the-seasons/2024/02/16/">45 Degrees North: Syncing With The Seasons</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  752. ]]></description>
  753. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="576" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?w=1920&amp;ssl=1 1920w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240122_095015.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  754. <p>When I lived in the city, I always felt out of sync with the seasons. I guess when you can buy fresh strawberries year-round, people are more used to scheduled activities than dropping everything to pick berries before the birds get them. Some seasons are more ephemeral than spring wildflowers. You have to (literally) make hay while the sun shines.</p>
  755.  
  756.  
  757.  
  758. <p>People might joke that northern Wisconsin has only two seasons – winter and road construction. But like many rural areas, we recognize and celebrate a great many more. Unfortunately, for the lesser-known seasons, the farm and fleet store doesn&#8217;t stock themed merchandise weeks in advance to alert us. So here&#8217;s a look at a few favorite seasons, and tips on learning to be on the lookout and ready to make memories when the season is upon you.</p>
  759.  
  760.  
  761.  
  762. <p><strong>Deep Cold</strong>. When sub-zero temperatures settle in, you might think people go into hibernation. Not here. There might be a text chain asking if people are staying put in deference to the weather. But on a recent Monday morning, the local coffee shop was filled despite the brutal cold – or in defiance of it. The veterans group pushed two tables together. The knitters pulled up folding chairs to accommodate everyone, moving extraneous project materials and coats to the adjacent pew – a reminder that the coffee shop was a Catholic church until two small rural congregations consolidated and this building was desanctified. </p>
  763.  
  764.  
  765.  
  766. <p>Deep cold isn&#8217;t a barrier to the retirees, semi-retirees, self-employed, flexibly employed, and homeschoolers who gather over handwork that is perhaps not liturgical but still devotional. The conversation touches on births and baby sweaters, deaths recent and impending, children and grandchildren, local history, and recent sightings at birdfeeders. More moderate weather seems to allow exponential expectations to encroach upon our perceptions of time. </p>
  767.  
  768.  
  769.  
  770. <p>So Deep Cold is for picking up unfinished projects and threads of conversations. If you&#8217;re new to an area that celebrates Deep Cold, linger beside the table where the laughter is loudest and ask who the retired teachers are (trust me, they&#8217;re there). But get your coffee first because you won&#8217;t want to step away and miss a moment.</p>
  771.  
  772.  
  773.  
  774. <p><strong>Tourney Time.</strong> With March Madness weeks away, folks get caught up in other games. Our library is sponsoring a jigsaw puzzle competition for teams of two. Extended families gather for cribbage tournaments. I suspect there are still some older couples who get together to play bridge and younger folks who play Dungeons and Dragons. Local taverns host dart and pool leagues. A sporting clays club offers league shooting. Ice fishing derbies include competitions for biggest fish, smallest fish, “size doesn&#8217;t matter” and more. </p>
  775.  
  776.  
  777.  
  778. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="439" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=780%2C439&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-121664" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044.jpg?w=1920&amp;ssl=1 1920w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/IMG_20240111_185044-1296x729.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Tournament season in a rural area might revolve around cribbage, puzzles, pool, darts &#8212; even sporting clays. (Photo by Donna Kallner)</figcaption></figure>
  779.  
  780.  
  781.  
  782. <p>A century ago here in the Northwoods, once the swamps froze it was easier for neighbors to gather and socialize. They may even have played a variation of the Bavarian game that evolved into <a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheepshead_(card_game)">Sheepshead</a>, Wisconsin&#8217;s unofficial state card game. When I moved here in 1986, the neighbors tried to teach me. My Hoosier upbringing (Euchre) didn&#8217;t quite prepare me for 5-handed Sheepshead, the object of which, as one friend says, is to make old men argue. If you get a chance to learn a new game from your rural neighbors, don&#8217;t hesitate to ask questions, even if it means showing your cards. Do your best to make a partner or teammate look good, laugh at your mistakes, and thank folks for taking the time to teach you. Save your poker face for after they know you&#8217;re a (generally) honest person.</p>
  783.  
  784.  
  785.  
  786. <p><strong>Tables Turn.</strong> It takes practice to spot the signs that youth and age are switching roles. Awareness may not sync the same, depending on the situation. And everything can change as quickly as spring grass greens up after a rain or brilliant fall leaves drop on a blustery day. Your kids offer to host holiday meals. Kids other people raised invite <em>you</em> to join <em>them</em> on a tour of Lambeau Field and the Packer Hall of Fame. They show up to take you fishing.</p>
  787.  
  788.  
  789.  
  790. <p>The neighbor who helped my husband learn to fly fish also taught him how to steam-bend wood fishing net frames and play cribbage. In his later years, Neil would pull in from time to time, poke his head into Bill&#8217;s shop and say, “Got time for a game of cribbage?” Bill always found the time. He still misses those games.</p>
  791.  
  792.  
  793.  
  794. <p>This winter, Bill has been teaching me to play cribbage. He tried once before, but other things got in the way and that fell by the wayside. Until last summer. Bill&#8217;s youngest cousin and his wife visited on their way to a reunion. I watched as the three of them played. Jon explained to me as he played, and invited us to join them and their four adult children and their partners for the family cribbage tournament. That crew is a blast, and that was enough incentive to finally learn to play.</p>
  795.  
  796.  
  797.  
  798. <p>Sadly, Jon passed away a few weeks later. We didn&#8217;t see it coming. Bill and I both had Covid and couldn&#8217;t attend the funeral. We couldn&#8217;t even play a memorial cribbage game because I hadn&#8217;t learned yet and didn&#8217;t have the mental bandwidth to start right then. But we started playing over Christmas. And every time we cut for the deal, I think of Jon and how short some seasons are.</p>
  799.  
  800.  
  801.  
  802. <p>So deal me in.</p>
  803.  
  804.  
  805.  
  806. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity is-style-dots"/>
  807.  
  808.  
  809.  
  810. <p><em>Donna Kallner writes from Langlade County in rural northern Wisconsin.&nbsp;</em></p>
  811. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/45-degrees-north-syncing-with-the-seasons/2024/02/16/">45 Degrees North: Syncing With The Seasons</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  812. ]]></content:encoded>
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  814. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  815. </item>
  816. <item>
  817. <title>Q&#038;A: Why Do Small-Scale Farmers Persist in Place?</title>
  818. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/qa-why-do-small-scale-farmers-persist-in-place/2024/02/16/</link>
  819. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/qa-why-do-small-scale-farmers-persist-in-place/2024/02/16/#respond</comments>
  820. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Olivia Weeks]]></dc:creator>
  821. <pubDate>Fri, 16 Feb 2024 10:59:00 +0000</pubDate>
  822. <category><![CDATA[Agriculture]]></category>
  823. <category><![CDATA[path finders]]></category>
  824. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=123371</guid>
  825.  
  826. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="576" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?w=1200&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  827. <p>Editor’s Note: This interview first appeared in Path Finders, an email newsletter from the Daily Yonder. Each week, Path Finders features a Q&#38;A with a rural thinker, creator, or doer. Like what you see here? You can join the mailing list at the bottom of this article and receive more conversations like this in your inbox each week. [&#8230;]</p>
  828. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/qa-why-do-small-scale-farmers-persist-in-place/2024/02/16/">Q&#038;A: Why Do Small-Scale Farmers Persist in Place?</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  829. ]]></description>
  830. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="576" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?w=1200&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Untitled-design-2-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  831. <p><em>Editor’s Note: This interview first appeared in <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/path-finders/">Path Finders</a>, an email newsletter from the Daily Yonder. Each week, Path Finders features a Q&amp;A with a rural thinker, creator, or doer. Like what you see here? You can <a href="#signup">join the mailing list at the bottom of this article</a> and receive more conversations like this in your inbox each week.</em></p>
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  839. <p><a href="https://brookslamb.com">Brooks Lamb</a><em> </em>is a writer, and the land protection and access specialist at American Farmland Trust. He grew up on a small farm in Marshall County, Tennessee, and lives in Memphis now. His recent book, <a href="https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300267440/love-for-the-land/"><em>Love For the Land: Lessons from Farmers Who Persist in Place</em></a><em>, </em>is a portrait of two changing Tennessee counties and the people who populate them – those who’ve chosen to stay in their changing hometowns in the face of development pressures and agricultural agglomeration. </p>
  840.  
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  843. <p>Enjoy our conversation about Wendell Berry, the fall of tobacco, and “right-sized” farming, below.</p>
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  851. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="585" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm.jpg?resize=780%2C585&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-122991" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C972&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C570&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C576&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1152&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1536&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C900&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=800%2C600&amp;ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C450&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C300&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=200%2C150&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C768&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1176&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C530&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Brooks-Lamb-Farm-1296x972.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Brooks Lamb on his family&#8217;s farm. (Photos provided)</figcaption></figure>
  852.  
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  855. <p><strong>Olivia Weeks, The Daily Yonder: <strong>Can you talk a little about your upbringing and how it led you to a career in agricultural advocacy?</strong></strong></p>
  856.  
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  858.  
  859. <p><strong>Brooks Lamb: </strong>I grew up on a small farm in rural Tennessee. The land has been in our family since 1892, but the ownership hasn’t exactly been “linear.” My parents bought the farm from my great uncle’s heirs when he passed away in the 1990s, and we moved onto the farm when I was 4 or 5 years old. Before that, we – me, my parents, and my two older brothers – were living on a smaller farm a few miles away. All that to say, we know the joys of multi-generational connections with the land as well as the burden of still trying to pay down a farm debt.</p>
  860.  
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  863. <p>My parents both worked full-time off the farm. My dad worked in a car factory for nearly 40 years, and my mom managed the elementary school cafeteria in town. We raised a small herd of cattle on the farm, as well as the hay to feed them through the winter. We always had a big garden. We grew pumpkins for several years. And when I was in high school, around 2009, I started a community garden on our farm called “Project: Plant a Seed.” The Great Recession hit our county pretty hard, and the unemployment rate rose to around 20 percent. I was searching for some way to help. Since we had land—and we also had a good relationship with the local Farmer’s Cooperative, which generously donated seeds, plants, and fertilizer—a garden felt like a good way to support the community. With a ton of help and encouragement from my parents, that garden was active for four summers, providing a lot of fresh food for people in our county.&nbsp;</p>
  864.  
  865.  
  866.  
  867. <p>We also raised burley tobacco until I was a junior in high school. For a long time – until production controls were lifted in the mid-2000s – tobacco was a critical crop for smaller-scale farmers. Even by just raising three or four acres of tobacco, families could make a respectable return that helped their farm’s economic viability. Yet when those production controls were lifted, and even though there was a buyout intended to help farmers who stopped raising it, tobacco joined the “get big or get out” chorus that has been plaguing American agriculture for decades. A crop that was pivotal to many small-scale farming communities across the South and elsewhere went away.&nbsp;</p>
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  871. <p>I understand the dark history of tobacco and its devastating impacts on human health as well as anyone. Cancer killed three of my four grandparents, all three of whom smoked. But tobacco was also an important element of our local agrarian economy. It’s complicated. This is something that people like Wendell Berry and bell hooks have written about, too. Now, the Berry Center in Kentucky is trying to take key parts of the former tobacco program – fair prices, controlled production, cooperation – and apply it to other realms, like beef cattle.</p>
  872.  
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  874.  
  875. <p>I should mention that our farm was, and still is, a <em>family </em>farm in the strongest sense. We tended the land, crops, and animals together. We repaired barns and fixed fences and hauled hay before school and after work, over holidays and breaks, and on the weekends. From my brothers, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and especially my parents, I learned the science and arts of agriculture. They also taught me to love the land. To care for it. Those lessons stuck.</p>
  876.  
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  878.  
  879. <p>I’ve gone on far too long in this response, but I’ll close by saying: I understand the challenges of rural communities and small and midsized farming because I’ve lived them. I’ve lived the beauty and grace, too. In other words, I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life. That experience inspires my work today.</p>
  880.  
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  882.  
  883. <p><strong>DY: <strong>How’d you choose the two community case studies in the book? What did you find particularly illuminating about Robertson and Maury counties?</strong></strong></p>
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  889. <p><strong>BL: </strong>I anchored the “field” work, farming pun somewhat intended, in Robertson and Maury counties for a few reasons. First, I am of and from a place much like these two communities. Marshall County, which is my home county, is adjacent to Maury County, so I’ve spent a lot of time there. Robertson County is a little further away—maybe 60 miles to the north—but it’s also similar. I watched tractor pulls and played high school football games there. </p>
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  895. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="549" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby.jpeg?resize=780%2C549&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-122992" style="width:436px;height:auto" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=1296%2C912&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=760%2C535&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=768%2C541&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=1536%2C1081&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=2048%2C1442&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=1200%2C845&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=1024%2C721&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=1568%2C1104&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=400%2C282&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?resize=706%2C497&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-scaled.jpeg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Muffin-as-a-Baby-1296x912.jpeg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">A childhood photo from the family farm.</figcaption></figure>
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  898.  
  899.  
  900.  
  901. <p>These common experiences were important because I could empathize with the farmers and local leaders I interviewed. My accent resembles theirs. I have an agricultural background, so I could talk about my favorite breeds of cattle and joke with them about why green tractors are inferior to red ones. That ability to empathize and engage led to trust. I wasn’t just a researcher extracting information. I was sitting down for a conversation. Because of that, people opened up in our interviews, even when it was difficult. And I am so grateful to them for doing so.</p>
  902.  
  903.  
  904.  
  905. <p>I also chose Robertson and Maury counties because, in a lot of ways, these two places are microcosms of agricultural communities across the country, especially in terms of the adversity they face. I wanted to understand why some farmers continue to care for their land and persist in place. To truly dig into that question, I needed to explore places where persistence isn’t easy. Where people have to <em>work</em> at it. Statistics and firsthand experiences show that’s the case for many smaller scale farmers in these two counties.</p>
  906.  
  907.  
  908.  
  909. <p>There are three primary kinds of adversity I focus on in the book. The first is farmland loss from haphazard real estate development, the kind that leads to rural gentrification. It’s truly rampant in Tennessee, where some data suggest that over a million acres of farmland will be compromised by development in the next two decades. The second is the issue of agricultural consolidation. It’s that “get big or get out” mantra that has hurt so many rural communities and economies, not to mention the land and ecosystems and environment itself. Finally, for farmers of color and especially Black farmers, I looked at issues of racism and injustice – in the past, but also still in the present. The difficulties farmers of color have faced, from loan denials and delayals to underrepresentation on agricultural committees, racism from government officials, dispossession of land via <a href="https://www.farmaid.org/blog/heirs-property-90-percent-decline-black-owned-farmland/">heirs’ property exploitation</a>, and more, not to mention that verbal and physical violence, are widespread and infuriating. Robertson and Maury counties have seen all these forms of systemic adversity.<br>The fact that some smaller farmers are resilient in the face of these difficulties? It’s worth asking <em>why </em>they persevere and what motivates them. These two communities are, in my mind, great places to do that.</p>
  910.  
  911.  
  912.  
  913. <p><strong>DY: You take Wendell Berry’s three stewardship virtues – imagination, affection, and fidelity – as a starting point. What were you trying to accomplish with those concepts, or what were you trying to add to them?</strong></p>
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  917. <p><strong>BL: </strong>Wendell Berry has been a huge influence for me. His novels are moving, his short stories are engaging, and his poems are beautiful and sometimes subversive. But his essays have been most influential for me. His writing on those concepts you mentioned – imagination, affection, and fidelity – have impacted me most.</p>
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  921. <p>Berry writes that imagination is one of the most intimate forms of knowledge possible. For him, and for me, it’s far different from our popular understanding of the term. Usually, when we hear “imagination,” it’s in the context of a child dreaming up other-worldly scenes. Instead, imagination as Berry describes it is as real as it gets. It’s knowing a specific place in all the richness of detail that makes it unique. It’s similar to familiarity, awareness, and attunement. It’s a knowledge that evolves over time, and it sparks connection.</p>
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  924.  
  925. <p>Affection is a deep and enduring love for a place, one that is hard-earned and learned. It’s not reactive or sentimental or nostalgic. It’s forceful. It reckons with difficulties and reality. It’s honest about struggles. Yet it remains. And importantly, it informs and motivates actions.</p>
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  929. <p>Fidelity is a lot like loyalty or devotion. It’s a desire to care for a place over time, to commit to the place and the people and the creatures within it. Imagination leads to affection, and affection yields fidelity. When that fidelity is rooted in love, it becomes a welcome obligation, a responsibility we cherish.</p>
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  932.  
  933. <p>In the book, I frame these concepts as “virtues,” or character dispositions that encourage us to think and act in certain ways. They’re more than just emotions. When nurtured, these virtues become part of our identity and help define who we are. They bring good to us and the wider world. They’re traits that we are constantly working to refine and strengthen. All these features make them pivotal to good stewardship of land. In my mind, they’re indispensable qualities of good farmers, yet they’re relevant far beyond the farm, too.&nbsp;</p>
  934.  
  935.  
  936.  
  937. <p>I wanted to show that these virtues don’t just “work” on the page. I wanted to see if they encourage action on the ground. Time after time, in dozens of interviews with farmers and local community members, I heard that these virtues inspire resilience. I saw it firsthand.&nbsp;</p>
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  941. <p>Now, I’m not sure if I heard a single person use the words “imagination,” “affection,” or “fidelity.” But they talked about knowing their land. They talked about loving it. Some said that it was their calling to care for it. They refused to “get big” because they wouldn’t be able to tend their farm in the same way, and they turned down unsolicited offers from developers who offered them $30,000 or $40,000 an acre for their land. They used different verbiage to describe their commitments, but the same concepts are there.&nbsp;</p>
  942.  
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  944.  
  945. <p>I think we have a lot to learn from people who are practicing these virtues and committing to place. Whether it’s a farm or an urban park, a community garden, or a tree planted in the sidewalk, we’d do well to cultivate these connections with, and affection for, place. It’d lead to better care on the local level, and collectively, it would lead to better care for our states, our country, and our world.</p>
  946.  
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  948.  
  949. <p><strong>DY: <strong>What do you most hope for readers to learn from the people who persist in small-scale agriculture today?</strong></strong></p>
  950.  
  951.  
  952.  
  953. <p><strong>BL: </strong>Two things: First, that we need to be doing more to support right-sized farming in the United States. “Right-sized” may have varying definitions. A “right-sized” or small or midsized farm may be different from Tennessee to Kansas to Montana to Connecticut. It even differs within those states, and it differs from one production focus to the next. But we need to nurture a farming system where imagination, affection, and fidelity can flourish. We need to create changes in policies and programs so that these virtues can be assets that empower rather than liabilities that demand constant sacrifice and struggle. Economic viability is important. In fact, viability is, or should be, a conservation strategy. But we can’t constantly prioritize profit over affection. Love and care need to be at the center. That’s essential for a healthier environment and economy, it’s essential for helping support the next generation of farmers and stewards, and it’s essential for the advancement of justice and equity.</p>
  954.  
  955.  
  956.  
  957. <p>Second, I want people to see the potential of people-place relationships, especially those rooted in affection. And I want more of us to emulate the farmers in this book. They’re not perfect people. No one is perfect. But they show us a path forward that can lead to better stewardship. In order to better care for places, the planet, and each other, we’ll have to make hard choices. We can’t “technology” ourselves out of environmental and social crises. We’ll have to do what’s hard instead of what’s easy. We will have to sacrifice. Many of the smaller scale farmers in this book show us how to do that.</p>
  958.  
  959.  
  960.  
  961. <p><strong>DY: <strong>How do you cultivate your connection to the land you live on now, in urban Memphis?</strong></strong></p>
  962.  
  963.  
  964.  
  965. <p><strong>BL: </strong>I should note that my wife, Regan, and I are still actively involved with caring for my family’s farm. We get back whenever we can, at least once every couple months. In fact, I’m going back in a few weeks for a short weekend trip and am crossing my fingers for good weather so I can spend as much time outside working as possible. Or if the weather’s bad, I’ll look forward to feeding hay in the barn and watching our cows and calves eat. That’s one of my favorite things to do. The farm will always be home for me.</p>
  966.  
  967.  
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  969. <p>Yet, as you noted, Memphis is a home for us, too. We love this place and feel a connection to it, and we act on that love in several ways. In an environmental-specific context, that means composting in the backyard and using that compost in the raised beds we built last spring. It means taking good care of our yard and the soil in it, a responsibility I particularly enjoy. It means frequently visiting Overton Park and caring for it, even if only in small ways. It means picking up trash on walks through the neighborhood and biking to the post office.</p>
  970.  
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  973. <p>But that connection transcends the land itself and flows into the place, which includes people. We have generous, loving neighbors who make our street feel like a community. We share and laugh and mourn and work together. I’m not sure how we lucked into such a kind group of people here. We also have an unbelievable group of friends who care about this city and each other. We have mentors here.&nbsp;</p>
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  977. <p>Regan and I hope to move onto a farm of our own in the next few years. Land access challenges make that difficult, which is a topic for another conversation. But we want to root into a rural community and the land itself, and we hope that can happen soon. Until then, we’ll be grateful to call Memphis home and practice affection where we are.</p>
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  1035. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/qa-why-do-small-scale-farmers-persist-in-place/2024/02/16/">Q&#038;A: Why Do Small-Scale Farmers Persist in Place?</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
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  1041. <title>Commentary: Rural America’s Young Conservatives Support Clean Energy</title>
  1042. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-rural-americas-young-conservatives-support-clean-energy/2024/02/15/</link>
  1043. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-rural-americas-young-conservatives-support-clean-energy/2024/02/15/#respond</comments>
  1044. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Chris Barnard]]></dc:creator>
  1045. <pubDate>Thu, 15 Feb 2024 11:00:00 +0000</pubDate>
  1046. <category><![CDATA[Energy]]></category>
  1047. <category><![CDATA[Environment]]></category>
  1048. <category><![CDATA[commentary]]></category>
  1049. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=123323</guid>
  1050.  
  1051. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="576" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1152&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1052. <p>With the 2024 election looking more and more like a 2020 rematch, it’s imperative that our leaders pay attention to a growing voting bloc: young voters in rural areas. In 2020, young, climate-minded voters, many hailing from major cities and big college campuses, turned the election for President Joe Biden. Moreover, their electoral power has [&#8230;]</p>
  1053. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-rural-americas-young-conservatives-support-clean-energy/2024/02/15/">Commentary: Rural America’s Young Conservatives Support Clean Energy</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1054. ]]></description>
  1055. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="576" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1152&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1056. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><a href="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?ssl=1" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="439" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1.jpg?resize=780%2C439&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123327" style="width:811px;height:auto" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1152&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/rural-cons-voter-energy1-1-1296x729.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Click image to enlarge. (Source: American Conservation Coalition. <a href="https://acc.eco/polling/">Methodology.)</a></figcaption></figure>
  1057.  
  1058.  
  1059.  
  1060. <p>With the 2024 election looking more and more like a 2020 rematch, it’s imperative that our leaders pay attention to a growing voting bloc: young voters in rural areas.</p>
  1061.  
  1062.  
  1063.  
  1064. <p>In 2020, young, climate-minded voters, many hailing from major cities and big college campuses, <a href="https://zenodo.org/records/10494414">turned the election</a> for President Joe Biden. Moreover, their electoral power has only grown in the past four years. In fact, millennials and Gen Z voters <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/articles/younger-voters-are-poised-to-upend-american-politics/">will</a> be the majority of eligible voters by 2028. It’s no secret that these voters typically trend liberal and progressive.</p>
  1065.  
  1066.  
  1067.  
  1068. <p>Perhaps more interestingly, though, some young <em>conservative </em>voters <a href="https://circle.tufts.edu/2024-election-youth-poll#a-majority-of-youth-say-they%E2%80%99ll-vote-in-2024%E2%80%94but-less-sure-who-to-vote-for">haven’t made up their minds</a> yet. Especially in rural areas, these voters may be the key to a candidate’s success, and they’ll certainly be instrumental in any effective action on clean energy. While unmoved by flashy climate protests that often take place in major cities, young rural conservatives still care about the environment and want realistic solutions that fit the unique needs of their communities.</p>
  1069.  
  1070.  
  1071.  
  1072. <p>Even more than that, they want their leaders to listen.</p>
  1073.  
  1074.  
  1075.  
  1076. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?ssl=1" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="439" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons.jpg?resize=780%2C439&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123331" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1152&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/top-issues-rural-cons-1296x729.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Click image to enlarge. (Source: American Conservation Coalition. <a href="https://acc.eco/polling/">Methodology.)</a></figcaption></figure>
  1077.  
  1078.  
  1079.  
  1080. <p>Yet, recent <a href="http://www.acc.eco/polling">polling</a> from my organization and Echelon Insights demonstrates that these young rural conservatives feel disenfranchised and unheard by the powers that be. In fact, only 39% of these voters feel as though their elected leaders listen to them on energy and environmental issues. With this in mind, it is more important than ever for candidates in rural areas to work to understand their potential constituents and what they support.</p>
  1081.  
  1082.  
  1083.  
  1084. <p>Notably, young rural conservatives are firmly in favor of moves toward clean energy development in their communities. Not only do they find this action important to promote American energy independence, but also to address climate-related challenges like greenhouse gas emissions. In simpler terms, these voters want a climate plan that’s good for the economy <em>and </em>the environment.</p>
  1085.  
  1086.  
  1087.  
  1088. <p>After all, clean energy is a real economic opportunity for rural areas. A more diverse energy portfolio results in lower costs, increased reliability, and more jobs for the community. More than 75% of young conservatives, for instance, support expanding clean energy access to consumers in rural areas.</p>
  1089.  
  1090.  
  1091.  
  1092. <p>A recent <a href="https://e2.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/E2-IRA-Rural-Report-23-12-A_06_locked.pdf">report from E2</a> shows just how big this opportunity is. Since 2022, more than $20 billion of clean energy investment has flooded into rural areas. More than 67,000 jobs –&nbsp;21,000 permanent, have been created to build and maintain rural clean energy projects. Young conservatives with technical training in rural areas will quite literally fuel our clean energy future. This makes their buy-in absolutely essential.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
  1093.  
  1094.  
  1095.  
  1096. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?ssl=1" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="439" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural.jpg?resize=780%2C439&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123332" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C428&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C432&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1152&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C675&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C576&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C882&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C225&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C397&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dont-limit-growth-cons-rural-1296x729.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Click image to enlarge. (Source: American Conservation Coalition. <a href="https://acc.eco/polling/">Methodology.)</a></figcaption></figure>
  1097.  
  1098.  
  1099.  
  1100. <p>The future of American energy must be affordable, reliable, and yes –&nbsp;clean. This sentiment cannot be contained to only our major city centers. America’s rural communities must be included in our clean energy transition and heard by elected leaders. In a crucial election year, voters are demanding it.</p>
  1101.  
  1102.  
  1103.  
  1104. <p>By championing clean energy and realistic steps to reduce emissions, candidates for elected office can not only help rural communities thrive but can also win over new voting blocs.</p>
  1105.  
  1106.  
  1107.  
  1108. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity is-style-dots"/>
  1109.  
  1110.  
  1111.  
  1112. <p><em>Chris Barnard is the president of the <a>American Conservation Coalition </a>(ACC). Follow him on X </em><a href="http://twitter.com/ChrisBarnardDL"><em>@ChrisBarnardDL</em></a><em>.</em></p>
  1113.  
  1114.  
  1115.  
  1116. <p><strong>Methodology</strong></p>
  1117.  
  1118.  
  1119.  
  1120. <p><em>Echelon Insights conducted a survey on behalf of the American Conservation Coalition to understand the opinions of young conservatives. This survey was conducted online from January 12–16, 2024, among a sample of 1,045  18–35-year-old conservative self-identified registered voters, with a base sample of 18–35-year-old conservative registered voters nationwide and an additional oversample of 210 18–35-year-old conservative registered voters in rural areas for a total of 505 in rural areas in the sample. The survey was conducted using non-probability sampling. <a href="https://acc.eco/polling/">More information on the poll and its methodology.</a></em></p>
  1121. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-rural-americas-young-conservatives-support-clean-energy/2024/02/15/">Commentary: Rural America’s Young Conservatives Support Clean Energy</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1122. ]]></content:encoded>
  1123. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-rural-americas-young-conservatives-support-clean-energy/2024/02/15/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  1124. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  1125. </item>
  1126. <item>
  1127. <title>Rural Places</title>
  1128. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/rural-places/2024/02/15/</link>
  1129. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/rural-places/2024/02/15/#respond</comments>
  1130. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Stacey Rice / Oregon Humanities]]></dc:creator>
  1131. <pubDate>Thu, 15 Feb 2024 10:58:00 +0000</pubDate>
  1132. <category><![CDATA[Arts and Culture]]></category>
  1133. <category><![CDATA[Rural Life]]></category>
  1134. <category><![CDATA[repub]]></category>
  1135. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=123112</guid>
  1136.  
  1137. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="638" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?fit=1024%2C638&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=760%2C474&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1296%2C808&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=768%2C479&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1536%2C957&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=2048%2C1276&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1200%2C748&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1024%2C638&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1568%2C977&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=400%2C249&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=706%2C440&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?fit=1024%2C638&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1138. <p>This story was originally published by Oregon Humanities. The first thirty-nine years of my life were spent in a small rural town, home to barely 2,000 people, tucked away at the edge of a rolling mountain plateau in the South. Growing up there as a transgender child, then a teen, and later an adult, forced [&#8230;]</p>
  1139. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/rural-places/2024/02/15/">Rural Places</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1140. ]]></description>
  1141. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="638" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?fit=1024%2C638&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=760%2C474&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1296%2C808&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=768%2C479&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1536%2C957&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=2048%2C1276&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1200%2C748&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1024%2C638&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=1568%2C977&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=400%2C249&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?resize=706%2C440&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/dan-meyers-pnAepvQzKTU-unsplash-scaled.jpeg?fit=1024%2C638&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1142. <p class="has-text-align-center"><em>This story was originally published by <a href="https://oregonhumanities.org/rll/beyond-the-margins/rural-places/">Oregon Humanities</a>.</em></p>
  1143.  
  1144.  
  1145.  
  1146. <p>The first thirty-nine years of my life were spent in a small rural town, home to barely 2,000 people, tucked away at the edge of a rolling mountain plateau in the South. Growing up there as a transgender child, then a teen, and later an adult, forced me into a closet that was plenty deep. I sure didn’t have a transgender community to find solace in, so I guarded my secret as closely as the skin on my body.&nbsp;</p>
  1147.  
  1148.  
  1149.  
  1150. <p>I was living in this small town when I decided to transition. I desperately needed to go out in public—and experience life—as my female self. So I began by making short trips, mostly to the grocery store and the mall in a nearby city. I would spend hours on makeup and preparation. I agonized over what clothes to wear. Every detail was analyzed, as I didn’t want to be seen as anything other than the woman I hoped people would see.&nbsp;</p>
  1151.  
  1152.  
  1153.  
  1154. <p>There was a routine involved with leaving my house as Stacey. My house was in the middle of town but just off a short gravel drive. I’d park my car in the basement garage so I could leave without having to walk out my front door and down the sidewalk to the driveway.&nbsp;</p>
  1155.  
  1156.  
  1157.  
  1158. <p>One morning after finishing my transformation, I was in my car, about to head out for the day. Standing at the end of the driveway, thirty feet away, was my immediate next-door neighbor. She was looking right at me, not moving a muscle.&nbsp;</p>
  1159.  
  1160.  
  1161.  
  1162. <p>My mind raced for what to do next. It felt useless to drive back into the garage when she had already seen me. So I pressed my foot on the gas and slowly made my way down the driveway. As I passed by her—moving at what seemed like millimeters per hour—I stole a glance and saw her slightly puzzled look. She had recognized me.&nbsp;</p>
  1163.  
  1164.  
  1165.  
  1166. <p>About a week later, I was wandering the aisles in the local hardware store when I saw a not-too-close friend walking toward me. She stopped and said, “I don’t quite know how to say this, but there is some gossip going around town about you. They are saying your neighbor saw you leave your house as a woman. Is that true?” I was dumbstruck. The other shoe dropped quickly when she informed me that my neighbor had also called my mom to tell her.</p>
  1167.  
  1168.  
  1169.  
  1170. <p>I left the store in shock. Mentally and emotionally, I couldn’t face having to see people, knowing they were gossiping behind my back. And I thought about the danger I was in. Maybe there would be some people who weren’t on board with having someone like me in their town. It was going to be hard enough transitioning; carrying this around as well was more than I could handle. Six months later, I moved out of my small town.&nbsp;</p>
  1171.  
  1172.  
  1173.  
  1174. <p>A recent study by the Movement Advancement Project estimated there are between 2.9 and 3.8 million LGBTQ+ people living in rural communities throughout the US. And in Oregon, older LGBTQ+ adults have been calling small towns home for decades.&nbsp;</p>
  1175.  
  1176.  
  1177.  
  1178. <p>Sara Wiener and her wife, Joanne, were living in Olympia, Washington, but had grown tired of the rain. Both triathletes, they mostly trained outside. “We&#8217;d lie in bed, hearing the rain all day, all night,” says Sara. It wasn’t long before they started thinking about moving to Bend. Joanne was very familiar with the area from the ski trips she had made as a child with her family. Eventually the couple bought some property in East Bend and built a tent platform where they could sleep when visiting. From the tent, they moved on to build a yurt, then a second yurt, and finally, a house.</p>
  1179.  
  1180.  
  1181.  
  1182. <p>In 1996, they permanently moved to Bend, which at the time had a population just over 30,000 people, and left behind their lives as out lesbians in Olympia. Just before they moved, Sara experienced what she calls a “little bit of a breakdown moment.” She says, “I’m like, what are we doing? I&#8217;m Jewish, and we&#8217;re gay and, you know, are we nuts to move to a place like Bend, Oregon?”&nbsp;</p>
  1183.  
  1184.  
  1185.  
  1186. <p>When they moved, Sara was pregnant with their daughter Bella. She says she soon received the title of “The first pregnant lesbian anyone knew of in Central Oregon. There were two doctors fighting over me, as they both wanted to deliver my baby!”</p>
  1187.  
  1188.  
  1189.  
  1190. <p>The couple immediately started working to find LGBTQ+ community. Sara says, “I literally pulled out a Bend phone book and looked in the Yellow Pages under ‘Gay,’ and believe it or not, there was a number to call.” It was a place called the Funny Farm, which was a “quirky, super campy gay place” spread over several acres of fields and outbuildings. The owners were two gay men who were partners, and their spot was known as a significant space for the community’s gatherings and celebrations.</p>
  1191.  
  1192.  
  1193.  
  1194. <p>But Sara and Joanne also learned that not everyone in the community was so welcoming to newcomers, and fears of being outed were still pervasive, especially as a result of Oregon Ballot Measure 9, a 1992 citizen’s initiative that would have declared homosexuality as “abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse.” Luckily, the ballot measure didn’t pass, but the remnants of the campaign were still floating around. “That was happening right before we moved to Bend, and people were kind of paranoid,” says Sara.&nbsp;</p>
  1195.  
  1196.  
  1197.  
  1198. <p>After Bella was born, Sara and Joanne became members of the Athletic Club of Bend and began training for the Gay Games—a worldwide LGBTQ+ sports and cultural event. They participated in several competitions and won numerous medals, including gold. There was a push from the club’s employees to honor Sara and Joanne&#8217;s accomplishments on the Wall of Fame, an idea that the club’s director rejected. When Sara got wind of this, she set up a meeting to confront the director on his homophobic behavior. During the meeting, Sara says, the director told her it was a “predatory issue—you know, the locker room thing.” Her chin dropped, and she couldn’t think of a thing to say. She ended up writing a letter asking for their initiation fee back. “I wrote some stuff,&#8221; she says, &#8220;and he wrote back and said&nbsp;<em>I’m sorry you feel that way</em>, which, oh my god, is a classic response.” They got their money back and quit the club.&nbsp;</p>
  1199.  
  1200.  
  1201.  
  1202. <p>After moving to Bend, Sara and Joanne became active in advocating for local LGBTQ+ issues and greater inclusion in the community. They got involved with the Human Dignity Coalition, a local organization founded in 1992 in response to Measure 9. Over a decade later, in 2004, the Coalition put on Central Oregon’s first-ever Pride event at McKay Park. Sara says it was tiny, with only five booths. For comparison, last summer’s Central Oregon Pride event had over one hundred booths. Of the more recent event, Sara says, “I saw kids with their parents—so many kids. It was mind-blowing the number of queers and the number of supportive family and friends. So that is a big change.”</p>
  1203.  
  1204.  
  1205.  
  1206. <p>Still, she points out, the changes aren’t complete. “It’s a misnomer of Bend that it’s so progressive. People think of Bend as on par with Portland, and it’s not. It’s half and half—definitely a purple county.”</p>
  1207.  
  1208.  
  1209.  
  1210. <p>Unlike Sara, Rand Bishop was in his early sixties when he moved to the small coastal town of Newport in 2012. He came to take care of his aging parents, seeing them through the last years of their lives, and stayed after they both had passed.</p>
  1211.  
  1212.  
  1213.  
  1214. <p>Rand spent most of his twenties playing in rock and roll bands and traveling around the world. He says he dressed androgynously and still recalls the spangled denim hot pants, wine-colored body suit, and glittering scarf he wore during a performance with his glam rock band when they opened for The Doors at Carnegie Hall. During this time, Rand was openly bisexual. He says the circle of musicians and performers he was part of made it easier to be open about his identity. “It’s really odd when you look back at the era, in the early seventies. It wasn’t part of my consciousness, because I was living in this culture where it was taken for granted.”</p>
  1215.  
  1216.  
  1217.  
  1218. <p>It was only years later, when Rand had settled into a domestic life with a wife and child in Nashville, that the depression he had experienced his whole life came back and reached a crisis point. With a nudge from his wife, he sought help from a therapist, who convinced him to stop the affairs and the denial and come out to his wife of twenty-two years. The revelation ended the marriage. He says, “It was very painful going through this, but they say the truth will set you free.”</p>
  1219.  
  1220.  
  1221.  
  1222. <p>By the time he moved to the Oregon coast, Rand had already had a long and successful career in the music industry as a songwriter and producer and was hoping to focus on shifting into film and literary work. But when some of his projects started to fall through, he began to notice both the social and professional isolation of living in a small town.</p>
  1223.  
  1224.  
  1225.  
  1226. <p>He says it was hard at first finding community on the coast. There are no gay bars in Newport, and the nearest one is an hour’s drive away. On top of that, Rand says, most of the people he knew were partnered up and settled into their lives at home, with less interest in going out. But through the help of a friend, he found it at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Newport. “In a Unitarian fellowship, of course, everybody is accepting. I was able to be very out, he says. And he has been able to grow his community by being involved in the planning committee for Newport Oregon Pride.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
  1227.  
  1228.  
  1229.  
  1230. <p>Rand says he finds Newport to be a generally accepting place, but he still encounters resistance and misunderstanding related to his bisexual identity, not only from straight people but from within the gay community also. His lifeline has been a group called Husbands Out to Wives, an international group with about one thousand members, all gay or bisexual men who have come out to their wives. “We help each other,&#8221; he says. &#8220;We have weekly Zooms. And it&#8217;s my community.”&nbsp;</p>
  1231.  
  1232.  
  1233.  
  1234. <p>Rand is still writing and performing music and will be publishing a novel based on his journey this year. He says, “I hope that others will see themselves in this story, understand they’re not alone, and find evidence that the journey to honesty is worth it, that light, love, and a measure of personal peace awaits outside the closet.”&nbsp;</p>
  1235.  
  1236.  
  1237.  
  1238. <p>Jeanne St. John and her wife, Kae, fell in love with the Oregon coast on a trip they took in 1988 for Jeanne’s job as a school administrator. They moved from California in 1990 after Jeanne was offered a full-time role with the Lincoln County School District.</p>
  1239.  
  1240.  
  1241.  
  1242. <p>The couple wanted to find community in their new home, and as churchgoing people, they began attending a Presbyterian church. “We were tolerated—not welcomed,” says Jeanne. “We were so naïve. We thought they had seen our California license plate.”&nbsp;</p>
  1243.  
  1244.  
  1245.  
  1246. <p>They decided to try the Episcopal church in town, St Lukes by the Sea. They were greeted that first Sunday morning by the priest, who Jeanne describes as a “tall, large woman in a white robe and Birkenstock sandals and socks.” Jeanne says, “The congregation was made up of little old ladies in hats and gloves, who welcomed us with open arms.”&nbsp;</p>
  1247.  
  1248.  
  1249.  
  1250. <p>Over the school Christmas break in 2002, a gay teen at Newport High School had committed suicide. Jeanne remembers getting a call from a therapist in town, who invited her to a meeting with other professionals from the gay community who worked in human services in Lincoln County. She says, “There was really no support for LGBTQ+ teens at that time.” The therapist wanted to galvanize the community into organizing to prevent another loss. She said to Jeanne, “We have to do something. We can’t let his happen again.”&nbsp;</p>
  1251.  
  1252.  
  1253.  
  1254. <p>As a result, Newport’s PFLAG chapter was formed, a national organization whose acronym is short for Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The Newport chapter became an umbrella for all LGBTQ+ activities on the coast. When the group’s early organizers put an ad in the&nbsp;<em>Newport News-Times</em>&nbsp;for an exploratory meeting to gauge local residents’ interest in starting a chapter on the coast, thirty people showed up to participate. Jeanne became the point person for the chapter and helped coordinate meetings and discussion topics, as well as themed events and celebrations. Every October, the group threw a party to celebrate National Coming Out Day. Jeanne loved this party and the stories people told about coming out. “It really connected people,” she says.&nbsp;</p>
  1255.  
  1256.  
  1257.  
  1258. <p>In 2008, two weeks after Jeanne’s sixty-fifth birthday, she and Kae registered their domestic partnership at the county clerk’s office in Lincoln County. It was soon after an Oregon law had taken effect that allowed same-sex couples to have access to domestic partnerships.&nbsp;</p>
  1259.  
  1260.  
  1261.  
  1262. <p>While filling out the paperwork, they were approached by the County Clerk who asked if they’d be interested in being featured in an article for the local newspaper. “We looked at each other and said ‘Hell yeah!’ On Friday the newspaper came out, and we came out,” Jeanne says.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
  1263.  
  1264.  
  1265.  
  1266. <p>The article and their photo were on the front page of the paper, above the fold. “We started getting phone calls, and when we went to the community pool, all our buddies applauded as we came in,” Jeanne says. But some people reacted less enthusiastically, like the acquaintance who called to compliment them on their front-page photo but avoided any mention of the reason they were being featured in the first place.&nbsp;</p>
  1267.  
  1268.  
  1269.  
  1270. <p>Today Jeanne finds meaning in championing the young people in her community. Around 2010, she began working with middle and high school students in Lincoln County to establish student-run gay and straight alliances (GSAs), a model adopted by schools throughout the country to build safe and supportive spaces for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. As part of this work, Jeanne and local teens have led trainings for district staff, teachers, and group sponsors. The trainings have evolved and expanded over the years, and in 2015, Jeanne began providing Transgender 101 trainings for the staff at Lincoln County Schools, which has led to a broader understanding of the transgender journey and the issues that trans youth face.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
  1271.  
  1272.  
  1273.  
  1274. <p>There are a number of LGBTQ+ people in rural places who have done and are doing deeply impactful work. They have done this by telling their stories, building community, providing accepting and safe places for LGBTQ+ people to be—and by advocating in the ways they can. It is hard and difficult work, but the payoff is in seeing the differences they have made in the lives of their neighbors and LGBTQ+ people who call rural places home.</p>
  1275.  
  1276.  
  1277.  
  1278. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity is-style-dots"/>
  1279.  
  1280.  
  1281.  
  1282. <p><em>Stacey Rice is a sixty-five-year-old transgender woman who found her way to Oregon from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina over eleven years ago. She is a 2023 Community Storytelling Fellow and former executive co-director of Q Center, the largest LGBTQ+ community center in the Pacific Northwest.</em></p>
  1283. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/rural-places/2024/02/15/">Rural Places</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1284. ]]></content:encoded>
  1285. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/rural-places/2024/02/15/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  1286. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  1287. </item>
  1288. <item>
  1289. <title>With Limited Resources, One Small Town Plans for Climate Change</title>
  1290. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/with-limited-resources-one-small-town-plans-for-climate-change/2024/02/14/</link>
  1291. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/with-limited-resources-one-small-town-plans-for-climate-change/2024/02/14/#respond</comments>
  1292. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Claire Carlson]]></dc:creator>
  1293. <pubDate>Wed, 14 Feb 2024 11:00:00 +0000</pubDate>
  1294. <category><![CDATA[Environment]]></category>
  1295. <category><![CDATA[Growth and Development]]></category>
  1296. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=123198</guid>
  1297.  
  1298. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="682" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="A blue mural reading &quot;Grants Pass&quot;" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C506&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C863&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1023&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1364&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C799&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1044&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C266&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C470&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1299. <p>This story was produced through a collaboration between the&#160;Daily Yonder, which covers rural America, and&#160;Nexus Media News, an editorially independent, nonprofit news service covering climate change. One of the most iconic landmarks in downtown Grants Pass, Oregon, is a 100-year-old sign that arcs over the main street with the phrase “It’s the Climate” scrawled across [&#8230;]</p>
  1300. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/with-limited-resources-one-small-town-plans-for-climate-change/2024/02/14/">With Limited Resources, One Small Town Plans for Climate Change</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1301. ]]></description>
  1302. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="682" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="A blue mural reading &quot;Grants Pass&quot;" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C506&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C863&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1023&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1364&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C799&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1044&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C266&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C470&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/mural_grants_pass-1-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1303. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity is-style-dots"/>
  1304.  
  1305.  
  1306.  
  1307. <p class="has-text-align-center"><em>This story was produced through a collaboration between the&nbsp;<a href="https://dailyyonder.com/">Daily Yonder</a>, which covers rural America, and&nbsp;<a href="https://nexusmedianews.com/one-small-town-plans-for-climate-change/">Nexus Media News</a>, an <em>editorially independent, nonprofit news service covering climate change</em>.</em></p>
  1308.  
  1309.  
  1310.  
  1311. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity is-style-dots"/>
  1312.  
  1313.  
  1314.  
  1315. <p class="has-drop-cap">One of the most iconic landmarks in downtown Grants Pass, Oregon, is a 100-year-old sign that arcs over the main street with the phrase “It’s the Climate” scrawled across it.&nbsp;</p>
  1316.  
  1317.  
  1318.  
  1319. <p>To an outsider, it’s an odd slogan in this rural region, where comments about the climate – or rather, climate change – can be met with apprehension. But for locals, it’s a nod to an era when the “climate” only referred to Grants Pass’ warm, dry summers and mild winters when snow coats the surrounding mountains but rarely touches down in the city streets.&nbsp;</p>
  1320.  
  1321.  
  1322.  
  1323. <figure class="wp-block-image alignwide size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="519" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1.jpg?resize=780%2C519&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123201" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C863&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C506&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1023&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1364&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C799&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1044&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C266&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C470&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/IMG_9557-1-1296x863.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">The “It’s the Climate” sign was first hung on July 20, 1920, to promote the temperate weather of Grants Pass. (Photo by Claire Carlson / The Daily Yonder)</figcaption></figure>
  1324.  
  1325.  
  1326.  
  1327. <p>Now, the slogan takes on a different meaning.</p>
  1328.  
  1329.  
  1330.  
  1331. <p>In May 2023, the Grants Pass City Council passed a one-of-a-kind <a href="https://grantspassoregon.gov/DocumentCenter/View/28972/Final-Sustainability-and-Energy-Action-Plan">sustainability plan</a> that, if implemented, would transition publicly owned buildings and vehicles to renewable energy, diversifying their power sources in case of natural disaster.</p>
  1332.  
  1333.  
  1334.  
  1335. <p>While passing the sustainability plan in this largely Republican county was an enormous feat on its own, actually paying for the energy projects proves to be Grants Pass’ biggest challenge yet.&nbsp;</p>
  1336.  
  1337.  
  1338.  
  1339. <p>“There are grants out there, but I don&#8217;t think we&#8217;re the only community out there looking for grants to help pay for some of these things,” said J.C. Rowley, finance director for the city of Grants Pass. Some project examples outlined in their sustainability plan include installing electric vehicle charging stations downtown and solar panels at two city-owned landfills, and converting park streetlights to LED. </p>
  1340.  
  1341.  
  1342.  
  1343. <p>Rural communities face bigger hurdles when accessing grant funding because they don’t have the staff or budget that cities often do to produce competitive grant applications. This can slow down the implementation of projects like the ones laid out in the Grants Pass sustainability plan.</p>
  1344.  
  1345.  
  1346.  
  1347. <p>And time is not something Grants Pass – or any other community – has to spare.</p>
  1348.  
  1349.  
  1350.  
  1351. <figure class="wp-block-image alignwide size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="519" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass.jpg?resize=780%2C519&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123211" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C863&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C506&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1023&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1364&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C799&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1044&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C266&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C470&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/city_hall_grants_pass-1296x863.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">The exterior of City Hall in Grants Pass on November 28, 2023. (Photo by Claire Carlson / The Daily Yonder)</figcaption></figure>
  1352.  
  1353.  
  1354.  
  1355. <p>Global climate models <a href="https://climatenexus.org/climate-change-news/rcp-8-5-business-as-usual-or-a-worst-case-scenario/#:~:text=RCP%208.5%20refers%20to%20the,relative%20to%20pre%2Dindustrial%20temperatures.">show</a> the planet’s average annual temperature increasing by about 6.3° Fahrenheit by 2100 if “business-as-usual” practices continue. These practices mean no substantive climate change mitigation policy, continued population growth, and unabated greenhouse gas emissions throughout the 21st century – practices driven by the most resource-consumptive countries, namely, the United States.&nbsp;</p>
  1356.  
  1357.  
  1358.  
  1359. <p>In southwest Oregon, this temperature increase means hotter summers and less snow in the winters, affecting the region’s water resources, according to a U.S. Forest Service <a href="https://www.fs.usda.gov/pnw/pubs/pnw-gtr995.pdf">analysis</a>. This could mean longer and more severe wildfire seasons.&nbsp;</p>
  1360.  
  1361.  
  1362.  
  1363. <p>In Roseburg, Oregon, about 70 miles north of Grants Pass, a 6.3°F increase would mean the city’s yearly average of 36 days of below-freezing temperatures would decrease to few or none, according to the analysis. Grants Pass would suffer a similar fate, drastically changing the climate it’s so famous for.&nbsp;</p>
  1364.  
  1365.  
  1366.  
  1367. <p>Grants Pass has a population of 39,000 and is the hub of one of the smallest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. The metro contains just one county, Josephine, which has a population of under 90,000, nearly half of whom live outside urbanized areas. Over half of the county’s land is owned by the Bureau of Land Management or National Forest, and it contains a section of the federal Rogue River Scenic Waterway.</p>
  1368.  
  1369.  
  1370.  
  1371. <p>“In the event of a natural disaster, we are far more likely to get isolated,” said Allegra Starr, an Americorps employee who was the driving force behind the Grants Pass sustainability plan. “I&#8217;ve heard stories of communities that were less isolated than us running out of fuel [during power outages].”</p>
  1372.  
  1373.  
  1374.  
  1375. <p>Building resilience in the face of disaster is a main priority of the plan, which recommends 14 projects related to green energy, waste disposal, transportation, and tree plantings in city limits. All of the projects focus on improvements to city-owned buildings, vehicles, and operations.&nbsp;</p>
  1376.  
  1377.  
  1378.  
  1379. <p>In partnership with Starr and the Grants Pass public works department, a volunteer task force of community members spent one year researching and writing the sustainability plan. In spring 2023, it was approved by the Grants Pass City Council.&nbsp;</p>
  1380.  
  1381.  
  1382.  
  1383. <p>Now, the public works department is in the grants-seeking stage, and they stand to benefit from the influx of climate cash currently coming from the federal government.&nbsp;</p>
  1384.  
  1385.  
  1386.  
  1387. <h3 class="wp-block-heading"><strong>Money for Sustainability, If You Can Get It</strong></h3>
  1388.  
  1389.  
  1390.  
  1391. <p class="has-drop-cap">In 2022, the Biden administration passed the single largest bill on clean energy and climate action in U.S. history: the Inflation Reduction Act, which funnels $145 billion to renewable energy and climate action programs. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed in 2021, allocates $57.9 billion to clean energy and power projects.&nbsp;</p>
  1392.  
  1393.  
  1394.  
  1395. <p>“It&#8217;s almost like drinking through a fire hose with the grant opportunities, which is a curse and a blessing,” said Vanessa Ogier, Grants Pass city council member. Ogier joined the council in 2021 with environmental and social issues as her top priority and was one of the sustainability plan’s biggest proponents.&nbsp;</p>
  1396.  
  1397.  
  1398.  
  1399. <p>But competing against larger communities for the grants funded through these federal laws is a struggle for smaller communities like Grants Pass.&nbsp;</p>
  1400.  
  1401.  
  1402.  
  1403. <figure class="wp-block-image alignwide size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="519" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass.jpg?resize=780%2C519&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123208" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C863&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C506&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1023&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1364&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C799&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1044&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C266&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C470&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/vanessa_ogier_grants_pass-1296x863.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Grants Pass city council member Vanessa Ogier at City Hall on November 28, 2023. (Photo by Claire Carlson / The Daily Yonder)</figcaption></figure>
  1404.  
  1405.  
  1406.  
  1407. <p>“I really don&#8217;t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but when a small community only has one grant writer and they have to focus on water systems, fire, dispatch, fleet services, and they&#8217;re torn in all these different ways, it can be difficult to wrangle and organize all these opportunities and filter if they&#8217;re applicable, if we would even qualify,” Ogier said.&nbsp;</p>
  1408.  
  1409.  
  1410.  
  1411. <p>Having a designated grant-writing team, which is common in larger cities, would be a huge help in Grants Pass, Ogier said.&nbsp;</p>
  1412.  
  1413.  
  1414.  
  1415. <p>A 2023 <a href="https://headwaterseconomics.org/headwaters/femas-bric-program-continues-to-fund-innovative-risk-reduction-but-community-capacity-limits-access/">study</a> by Headwaters Economics found that lower-capacity communities – ones with fewer staff and limited funding – were unable to compete against higher-capacity, typically urban communities with resources devoted to writing competitive grant applications.&nbsp;</p>
  1416.  
  1417.  
  1418.  
  1419. <p>“[There are] rural communities that don&#8217;t have community development, that don&#8217;t have economic development, that don&#8217;t have grant writers, that may only have one or two paid staff,” said Karen Chase, senior manager for community strategy at Energy Trust, an Oregon-based nonprofit that helps people transition their homes and businesses to renewable energy. Chase was a member of the volunteer task force that put together the Grants Pass sustainability plan.</p>
  1420.  
  1421.  
  1422.  
  1423. <p>When the Inflation Reduction Act money started rolling in, many of the rural communities Chase works with did not have plans that laid out “shovel-ready” energy and climate resiliency projects, which is a requirement of much of the funding. Grants Pass’ sustainability plan should give them a leg-up when applying for grants that require shovel-ready projects, according to Chase.</p>
  1424.  
  1425.  
  1426.  
  1427. <p>“Most of my rural communities pretty much lost out,” she said.&nbsp;</p>
  1428.  
  1429.  
  1430.  
  1431. <p>This is despite the approximately $87 billion of Inflation Reduction Act money classified as rural-relevant, rural-stipulated, or rural-exclusive funding, according to an <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/articles/whats-in-it-for-rural-analyzing-the-opportunities-for-rural-america-in-iija-chips-and-ira-2/">analysis</a> from the Brookings Institute. Rural outreach is part of the Biden administration’s larger goal to put money into rural communities that historically have been left out by state and federal investments.</p>
  1432.  
  1433.  
  1434.  
  1435. <p>But this outreach isn’t perfect. Most of the federal grants available to rural communities still have match requirements, which are a set amount of money awardees must contribute to a grant-funded project.&nbsp;</p>
  1436.  
  1437.  
  1438.  
  1439. <p>The Brookings Institute analysis, which also looked at rural funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the CHIPS and Science Act, found that “over half [of the rural-significant grants programs] require or show a preference for matching funds, and less than one-third offer flexibility or a waiver.”&nbsp;</p>
  1440.  
  1441.  
  1442.  
  1443. <p>Of the rural-exclusive and rural-stipulated programs, less than one-third of the total grants offer match waivers or flexibility to reduce the match requirement. This makes getting those grants a lot harder for rural communities with smaller budgets.&nbsp;</p>
  1444.  
  1445.  
  1446.  
  1447. <h3 class="wp-block-heading"><strong>Help From the Outside</strong></h3>
  1448.  
  1449.  
  1450.  
  1451. <p class="has-drop-cap">To address limited staffing, in 2021 the Grants Pass public works department applied to be a host site for an Americorps program run out of the University of Oregon.&nbsp;</p>
  1452.  
  1453.  
  1454.  
  1455. <p>The program, coined the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) program, assigns graduate students to rural Oregon communities for 11 months to work on economic development, sustainability planning, and food systems initiatives. An Americorps member was assigned to Grants Pass to work as a sustainability planner from September 2022 to August 2023.&nbsp;</p>
  1456.  
  1457.  
  1458.  
  1459. <p>Without the Americorps member, Grants Pass officials say there’s no way the plan would have been written.</p>
  1460.  
  1461.  
  1462.  
  1463. <p>“She came in and learned about the city and the operations and the technical aspects of it and was able to really understand it and talk about that,” said Kyrrha Sevco, business operations supervisor for the public works department. “That&#8217;s hard to do.”</p>
  1464.  
  1465.  
  1466.  
  1467. <figure class="wp-block-image alignwide size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="519" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass.jpg?resize=780%2C519&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123209" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C863&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C506&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1023&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1364&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C799&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1044&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C266&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C470&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/kyrrha_sevco_grants_pass-1296x863.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Kyrrha Sevco, business operations supervisor for the Grants Pass public works department, at City Hall on November 28, 2023. (Photo by Claire Carlson / The Daily Yonder)</figcaption></figure>
  1468.  
  1469.  
  1470.  
  1471. <p>Bringing outsiders in can be a tricky undertaking in a rural community, but RARE program director Titus Tomlinson said they collaborate with the host sites to make the transition for their members as smooth as possible.&nbsp;</p>
  1472.  
  1473.  
  1474.  
  1475. <p>“When we place a member, we place them with a trusted entity in a rural community,” Tomlinson said. “[The site supervisor] helps them meet and engage with other leaders in the community so that they&#8217;ve got some ground to stand on right out of the gate.”&nbsp;</p>
  1476.  
  1477.  
  1478.  
  1479. <p>Each participating community must provide a $25,000 cash match that goes toward the approximately $50,000 needed to pay, train, and mentor the Americorps member, according to the RARE <a href="https://rare.uoregon.edu/application-process/community-application-process/frequently-asked-questions/">website</a>. Communities struggling to meet this cash match are eligible for financial assistance.&nbsp;</p>
  1480.  
  1481.  
  1482.  
  1483. <p>Grants Pass paid $18,500 for their portion of the RARE Americorps grant.</p>
  1484.  
  1485.  
  1486.  
  1487. <p>Allegra Starr, the Americorps employee, no longer works in Grants Pass since completing her 11-month term. In her stead, a committee of seven has been created to monitor and report to the city council on the progress of the plan’s implementation.&nbsp;</p>
  1488.  
  1489.  
  1490.  
  1491. <p>Much of this implementation work will fall on the director of the public works department, Jason Canady, and the business operations supervisor, Kyrrha Sevco.&nbsp;</p>
  1492.  
  1493.  
  1494.  
  1495. <figure class="wp-block-image alignwide size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="519" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass.jpg?resize=780%2C519&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-123210" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C863&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C506&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C511&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1023&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1364&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C799&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C1044&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C266&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C470&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/jason_canady_grants_pass-1296x863.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Director of public works Jason Canady at City Hall on November 28, 2023. (Photo by Claire Carlson / The Daily Yonder)</figcaption></figure>
  1496.  
  1497.  
  1498.  
  1499. <p>“There has to be that departmental person who&#8217;s really carrying that lift and that load,” said Rowley, the Grants Pass finance director. “It&#8217;s the Kyrrhas and Jasons of the world who are leading the charge for their own department like public works.”</p>
  1500.  
  1501.  
  1502.  
  1503. <p>Now, Canady and Sevco are laying the groundwork for multiple solar projects. Eventually, they hope to bring to life what local high school student, and member of the original volunteer sustainability task force, Kayle Palmore, dreamed of in an essay titled “A Day in 2045,” which envisions bike lanes, wide sidewalks, solar panels, and electric vehicle charging stations on every street corner.&nbsp;</p>
  1504.  
  1505.  
  1506.  
  1507. <p>“A smile spreads across your face as you think of how much you love this beautiful city,” Palmore writes.&nbsp;</p>
  1508.  
  1509.  
  1510.  
  1511. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity is-style-dots"/>
  1512. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/with-limited-resources-one-small-town-plans-for-climate-change/2024/02/14/">With Limited Resources, One Small Town Plans for Climate Change</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1513. ]]></content:encoded>
  1514. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/with-limited-resources-one-small-town-plans-for-climate-change/2024/02/14/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  1515. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  1516. </item>
  1517. <item>
  1518. <title>Commentary: FCC Commissioner – &#8216;We Can’t Afford to Lose the Affordable Connectivity Program&#8217;</title>
  1519. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-fcc-commissioner-we-cant-afford-to-lose-the-affordable-connectivity-program/2024/02/14/</link>
  1520. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-fcc-commissioner-we-cant-afford-to-lose-the-affordable-connectivity-program/2024/02/14/#respond</comments>
  1521. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Anna M. Gomez / Federal Communications Commission]]></dc:creator>
  1522. <pubDate>Wed, 14 Feb 2024 10:59:00 +0000</pubDate>
  1523. <category><![CDATA[Broadband and Technology]]></category>
  1524. <category><![CDATA[Growth and Development]]></category>
  1525. <category><![CDATA[commentary]]></category>
  1526. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=123240</guid>
  1527.  
  1528. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="663" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C663&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="Anna Gomez smiles in front of an American flag" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?w=1197&amp;ssl=1 1197w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=760%2C492&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=768%2C497&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=1024%2C663&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=400%2C259&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=706%2C457&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C663&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1529. <p>This commentary is adapted from the remarks of Commissioner Anna M. Gomez of the Federal Communications Commission to the 2024 State of the Net Conference in Washington, D.C. on February 12, 2024. I want to talk about our experience with the Affordable Connectivity Program and why allowing this program to expire is a really bad [&#8230;]</p>
  1530. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-fcc-commissioner-we-cant-afford-to-lose-the-affordable-connectivity-program/2024/02/14/">Commentary: FCC Commissioner – &#8216;We Can’t Afford to Lose the Affordable Connectivity Program&#8217;</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1531. ]]></description>
  1532. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="663" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C663&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="Anna Gomez smiles in front of an American flag" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?w=1197&amp;ssl=1 1197w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=760%2C492&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=768%2C497&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=1024%2C663&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=400%2C259&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?resize=706%2C457&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/anna-gomez-horiz-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C663&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1533. <p class="has-text-align-left"><em>This commentary is adapted from the remarks of Commissioner Anna M. Gomez of the Federal Communications Commission to the 2024 </em><a href="https://www.stateofthenet.org/sotn-24/"><em>State of the Net</em></a><em> Conference in Washington, D.C. on February 12, 2024.</em></p>
  1534.  
  1535.  
  1536.  
  1537. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity is-style-dots"/>
  1538.  
  1539.  
  1540.  
  1541. <p>I want to talk about our experience with the Affordable Connectivity Program and why allowing this program to expire is a really bad idea—bad for our economy and bad for families all across this country.</p>
  1542.  
  1543.  
  1544.  
  1545. <p>Congress created the Affordable Connectivity Program in November 2021 because they recognized that connectivity is essential to our lives. The program’s creation reflects another insight. Our government’s historic approach of narrowing the digital divide was insufficient because it focused almost exclusively on expanding broadband’s availability. The ACP is the most successful tool we’ve ever had to close the digital divide, because it finally addresses the long-overlooked yet critical <em>affordability</em> piece of the puzzle.&nbsp;</p>
  1546.  
  1547.  
  1548.  
  1549. <p>The enrollment numbers for the program have been staggering and prove definitively that too many Americans have been missing out on the opportunities of the Internet Age because they couldn’t afford a home broadband connection. We now have over 23 million households enrolled in ACP nationwide. Think about that. That means the ACP is impacting one in six U.S. households. Of that 23 million, over 5 million had never been connected before. Many more had what can only be described as precarious connectivity—connectivity that could be easily lost if the family had to make hard choices on tight budgets in any given month.</p>
  1550.  
  1551.  
  1552.  
  1553. <p>But if the ACP does not receive funding, the program will run out of money in April. Just like that, millions will lose access to the connectivity on which they rely for education, health care, their job, and more.&nbsp;</p>
  1554.  
  1555.  
  1556.  
  1557. <p>I would also note that nearly half of all ACP subscribers are military families. Considering their sacrifices for our country, it hardly seems right to yank away the support for which they’ve signed up.</p>
  1558.  
  1559.  
  1560.  
  1561. <p>There are also 4 million senior households enrolled in ACP. Those living on a fixed income from Social Security are going to have limited alternatives to stay connected.</p>
  1562.  
  1563.  
  1564.  
  1565. <p>The end of ACP could be disastrous for families who are already struggling to pay the bills. That is certain.</p>
  1566.  
  1567.  
  1568.  
  1569. <p>But, something I hear talked about less are the costs to our economy and the negative downstream effects if ACP ends. Specifically, that ACP ending will slow economic growth, increase costs to the government, and cause stranded investment in rural areas. It is, as they say, penny wise and pound foolish.</p>
  1570.  
  1571.  
  1572.  
  1573. <p>Let me explain.</p>
  1574.  
  1575.  
  1576.  
  1577. <p>First, if ACP ends, it will slow our country’s economic growth by limiting economic opportunity. Access to communications technology is a game changer for economic opportunity. Our economy relies on many different types of innovators, small entrepreneurs, and business owners, who depend on connectivity to develop their skills, connect to jobs, and launch new businesses. There are so many varied paths to success in this country. But it is hard to identify a path that does not require connectivity.</p>
  1578.  
  1579.  
  1580.  
  1581. <p>This is about the future of our economy, and it is a bipartisan issue. Again, the ACP was borne from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Democratic Senator Peter Welch [D-Vermont] and Republican Senator J.D. Vance [R-Ohio] have introduced a bill to extend the program. Representatives Yvette Clarke [D-New York] and Brian Fitzpatrick [R-Pennsylvania] have introduced the same bill in the House with two dozen co-sponsors, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Former republican Commissioner Mike O’Reilly wrote an <a href="https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/3840831-a-conservative-case-for-the-affordable-connectivity-program/">op/ed advocating for funding the ACP</a>. He argued that online GEDs and college courses not only promote greater career options for recipients, but also lower the costs of overall education investments and help minimize participation in other social programs.</p>
  1582.  
  1583.  
  1584.  
  1585. <p>It’s not mere speculation to say that ACP subscribers are using their connections to engage in economic activities. We have survey data. For example, nearly 50% of ACP subscribers report that they use their service to apply for jobs or to work. Having connectivity has been shown to increase labor force participation and decrease the probability of unemployment.&nbsp;</p>
  1586.  
  1587.  
  1588.  
  1589. <p>Now, think about it from the employers’ side. For the past few years, we’ve been hearing non-stop about the labor crunch. Businesses are having a hard time finding workers. Currently, we have 9 million job openings. The main way to apply for the overwhelming majority of those jobs is an online application process. If we risk the ability of one-sixth of U.S. households to get online, that’s only going to make it harder for businesses to find qualified applicants.</p>
  1590.  
  1591.  
  1592.  
  1593. <p>So we have a choice. We can allow ACP to expire, leaving millions without the connectivity that they need to participate in work, with all the accompanying negative impacts on the labor market. Or, we can ensure the long-term success of ACP as a strategic investment in the economic stability and competitiveness of our nation. Seems like a pretty clear choice to me.&nbsp;</p>
  1594.  
  1595.  
  1596.  
  1597. <p>Let me make it clearer. Allowing ACP to expire would not only have negative economic impacts, it would also lead to increases in government spending. How’s that? Many of the services government supports can be delivered at a lower cost online.</p>
  1598.  
  1599.  
  1600.  
  1601. <p>Take health care, for example. Telemedicine visits have been shown to be 23% less expensive than in-person visits. Now, get this: A staggering 72% of ACP subscribers have reported that they have used their ACP support service for telehealth services. Given that the Medicaid eligible population and the ACP eligible population overlap significantly, many Medicaid patients will lose access to telehealth services along with their ACP benefits, thereby raising health care costs for these government programs.&nbsp;</p>
  1602.  
  1603.  
  1604.  
  1605. <p>Similarly, many private health insurers, seeing how using telemedicine is creating significant cost savings, have incorporated easy access to telemedicine into their services, often eliminating co-pays for customers, reducing costs for the companies and the customers. That option won’t be there for the families that lose their connectivity.</p>
  1606.  
  1607.  
  1608.  
  1609. <p>Here’s another reason why failure to invest in the continuation of ACP costs more money than it saves. The broadband deployment marketplace is a virtuous cycle. The availability of affordable high-speed broadband networks drives demand for home connectivity. The more potential subscribers you have, i.e., the more demand you have, the greater the incentives to invest in upgrading and expanding high-speed networks.&nbsp;</p>
  1610.  
  1611.  
  1612.  
  1613. <p>Now, consider how these market realities apply to our nation’s historic investment to deploy broadband to everyone, everywhere. In addition to establishing the ACP, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included $42.5 billion for network deployment. The Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment Program, or BEAD as it is affectionately known, is administered by NTIA. You heard Alan Davidson talk about it during his Fireside Chat at the top of today’s program.</p>
  1614.  
  1615.  
  1616.  
  1617. <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>Notably, Congress made participation in ACP or a low-income program a requirement for providers who want to receive these funds. That is because ACP and BEAD are intended to address two separate, but equally vital pieces of solving the digital divide – affordability and access.&nbsp;</p>
  1618.  
  1619.  
  1620.  
  1621. <p>In rural areas especially, you cannot consider one without the other. Without affordability, we risk some of the historic $42.5 billion investment becoming stranded. For low-income rural Americans, the ACP has been a lifeline to ensuring they have access to connectivity. Many rural consumers that have been waiting for connectivity to finally come to them, however, may be disappointed when the buildout does not go as far as expected. The likely take rate is a critical piece of providers’ business plans.</p>
  1622.  
  1623.  
  1624.  
  1625. <p>This is not complex math, without ACP, fewer households can afford service and this will impact the economics of deploying broadband infrastructure. Subscribership concerns could result in less rural areas being served and the historic investment through BEAD buying less build out. And some buildout may be unsustainable without sufficient subscribership. Without ACP and a sustainable customer base, fewer customers in most hard to reach areas of the country will be connected by this once-in-a-generation investment in broadband.&nbsp;</p>
  1626.  
  1627.  
  1628.  
  1629. <p>Put simply – without ACP, our dollars will not go as far and we will fail to maximize the benefits of this investment.</p>
  1630.  
  1631.  
  1632.  
  1633. <p>Bringing all of this full circle, just remember that widespread broadband deployment and adoption have ancillary economic and societal benefits.&nbsp;</p>
  1634.  
  1635.  
  1636.  
  1637. <p>A <a href="https://www.richmondfed.org/publications/community_development/community_scope/2020/comm_scope_vol8_no1">report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond</a> found that expanded access to broadband in rural areas contributes to job growth, population growth, more new business formations, higher home values and lower unemployment rates.</p>
  1638.  
  1639.  
  1640.  
  1641. <p>Purdue University researchers examined an effort to promote broadband adoption in rural Indiana, and found that the <a href="https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2018/Q3/report-broadband-access-would-benefit-rural-areas,-state.html">economic benefits of the investments were three to four times greater than the costs</a>.</p>
  1642.  
  1643.  
  1644.  
  1645. <p>The Affordable Connectivity Program is about making sure everyone, everywhere in this country has access to that connectivity—access to real opportunity in the Internet age. … By ensuring that all Americans can afford high-speed Internet, we are investing in our nation’s future prosperity and unlocking the full potential of our citizens.</p>
  1646.  
  1647.  
  1648.  
  1649. <p>We’ve made too much progress to turn back. Let’s save the Affordable Connectivity Program. Let’s move forward, together.&nbsp;</p>
  1650.  
  1651.  
  1652.  
  1653. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity is-style-dots"/>
  1654.  
  1655.  
  1656.  
  1657. <p><em>Commissioner Anna M. Gomez is a member of the Federal Communications Commission.</em></p>
  1658. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-fcc-commissioner-we-cant-afford-to-lose-the-affordable-connectivity-program/2024/02/14/">Commentary: FCC Commissioner – &#8216;We Can’t Afford to Lose the Affordable Connectivity Program&#8217;</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1659. ]]></content:encoded>
  1660. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-fcc-commissioner-we-cant-afford-to-lose-the-affordable-connectivity-program/2024/02/14/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  1661. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  1662. </item>
  1663. <item>
  1664. <title>Love and Loss in the Anthropocene </title>
  1665. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/love-and-loss-in-the-anthropocene/2024/02/14/</link>
  1666. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/love-and-loss-in-the-anthropocene/2024/02/14/#respond</comments>
  1667. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Claire Carlson]]></dc:creator>
  1668. <pubDate>Wed, 14 Feb 2024 10:58:00 +0000</pubDate>
  1669. <category><![CDATA[Environment]]></category>
  1670. <category><![CDATA[keep it rural]]></category>
  1671. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=123276</guid>
  1672.  
  1673. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="670" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?fit=1024%2C670&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?w=1533&amp;ssl=1 1533w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=760%2C497&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=1296%2C848&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=768%2C502&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=1200%2C785&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=1024%2C670&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=400%2C262&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=706%2C462&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?fit=1024%2C670&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1674. <p>Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Keep It Rural, an email newsletter from the Daily Yonder. Like what you see?  Join the mailing list for more rural news, thoughts, and analysis in your inbox each week. In Hawaii, there is a goose that can walk on lava.  Its partially webbed feet have ropy [&#8230;]</p>
  1675. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/love-and-loss-in-the-anthropocene/2024/02/14/">Love and Loss in the Anthropocene </a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1676. ]]></description>
  1677. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="670" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?fit=1024%2C670&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?w=1533&amp;ssl=1 1533w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=760%2C497&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=1296%2C848&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=768%2C502&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=1200%2C785&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=1024%2C670&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=400%2C262&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?resize=706%2C462&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/nene_hi_parkservice.jpg?fit=1024%2C670&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1678. <p class="has-small-font-size"><em>Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in </em><a href="https://dailyyonder.com/keep-it-rural/"><em>Keep It Rural</em></a><em>, an email newsletter from the Daily Yonder. Like what you see?  </em><a href="https://dailyyonder.com/contact-us/subscribe-daily-yonder/"><em>Join the mailing list</em></a><em> for more rural news, thoughts, and analysis in your inbox each week.</em></p>
  1679.  
  1680.  
  1681.  
  1682. <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity"/>
  1683.  
  1684.  
  1685.  
  1686. <p>In Hawaii, there is a goose that can walk on lava. </p>
  1687.  
  1688.  
  1689.  
  1690. <p>Its partially webbed feet have ropy toes that allow it to traverse rough, solid lava plains that would scratch and bruise softer flesh. Called a nēnē, it’s the only Hawaiian goose left of at least four other endemic goose species that lived on the islands before the introduction of nonnative animals like mongoose, pigs, cats, goats, and cows destroyed much of Hawaii’s native animal and plant species.&nbsp;</p>
  1691.  
  1692.  
  1693.  
  1694. <p>But nēnē breed well in captivity, which is why you can still see them today in Hawaii, often in the more rural parts of the islands (but they also like golf courses: In 2022, 11 nēnē geese were <a href="https://www.khon2.com/local-news/hawaii-nene-geese-increasingly-struck-by-golf-balls/">injured</a> by golf ball strikes on the Big Island).&nbsp;</p>
  1695.  
  1696.  
  1697.  
  1698. <p>Now, with its carefully managed population, one of the biggest threats to the approximate 3,800 nēnē found in Hawaii – besides golf balls – are cars. In 2021, <a href="https://bigislandnow.com/2021/10/22/officials-say-nene-deaths-due-to-speeding-and-feeding-at-hvnp/">three nēnē</a> were killed over the span of two weeks in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, two of them mates. The male died on the same stretch of road a week after his female mate was killed there. Like many other waterfowl, nēnē usually mate for life.</p>
  1699.  
  1700.  
  1701.  
  1702. <p>Love is always tragic (Shakespeare taught us this), but love in the anthropocene is particularly tragic, at least to me. To love anything now means you’ll one day lose it, at the rate we’re blowing through the planet’s natural resources. Nothing is sacred when every square foot of land has a dollar value, every tree a stumpage rate.&nbsp;</p>
  1703.  
  1704.  
  1705.  
  1706. <p>But perhaps this is how love was even before industry-as-we-know-it changed landscapes, ecosystems, and the climate, irreversibly. As long as death has been around, love and loss have always been inextricably tied. And maybe that’s what makes the anthropocene beautiful, in a demented way: it’s sped up the dying process.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
  1707.  
  1708.  
  1709.  
  1710. <p>When I first saw a nēnē in Hawaii, I didn’t think much of it. With its long neck and porky brown-and-black-feathered body, it really just looks like a glorified Canada goose. Only after learning about its endangered status did I start to love it.&nbsp;</p>
  1711.  
  1712.  
  1713.  
  1714. <p>People like rare things. A limited quantity is what gives something value under capitalism – that’s why diamonds are so expensive. An abundance makes a thing feel less special.&nbsp;</p>
  1715.  
  1716.  
  1717.  
  1718. <p>But everything is endangered in the anthropocene, even the mundane. The once prolific passenger pigeon endemic to North America was driven to extinction by the start of the 20th century in part because it was considered a cheap, easy-to-find meat source, until it wasn’t so easy to find. Thousands of insect species (perhaps the most mundane creatures of all?) have been <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/14/a-different-dimension-of-loss-great-insect-die-off-sixth-extinction">wiped away</a> as the planet warms, some disappearing before humans ever learned they existed.&nbsp;</p>
  1719.  
  1720.  
  1721.  
  1722. <p>Loving something in the anthropocene means knowing it will die, possibly right before your very eyes (if you’re paying attention). Nothing – no one – is impervious to death. Remembering this makes every thing special, even if right now that thing is prolific, widespread. Even if that thing is us.&nbsp;</p>
  1723. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/love-and-loss-in-the-anthropocene/2024/02/14/">Love and Loss in the Anthropocene </a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1724. ]]></content:encoded>
  1725. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/love-and-loss-in-the-anthropocene/2024/02/14/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  1726. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  1727. </item>
  1728. <item>
  1729. <title>Rural Americans Were Less Likely to Enroll in a Federal Broadband Assistance Program. Now It’s Too Late to Sign up </title>
  1730. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/rural-americans-were-less-likely-to-enroll-in-a-federal-broadband-assistance-program-now-its-too-late-to-sign-up/2024/02/13/</link>
  1731. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/rural-americans-were-less-likely-to-enroll-in-a-federal-broadband-assistance-program-now-its-too-late-to-sign-up/2024/02/13/#respond</comments>
  1732. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Sarah Melotte]]></dc:creator>
  1733. <pubDate>Tue, 13 Feb 2024 11:00:00 +0000</pubDate>
  1734. <category><![CDATA[Broadband and Technology]]></category>
  1735. <category><![CDATA[broadband]]></category>
  1736. <category><![CDATA[data]]></category>
  1737. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=123103</guid>
  1738.  
  1739. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="622" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C622&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C462&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C787&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C467&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C933&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1244&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C622&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C953&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C243&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C429&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C622&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1740. <p>Rural households were not as likely as their urban counterparts to enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal fund that is running out of money to help low income families connect to the internet. About a third (37%) of rural households that are eligible for the monthly discount on broadband subscriptions had enrolled [&#8230;]</p>
  1741. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/rural-americans-were-less-likely-to-enroll-in-a-federal-broadband-assistance-program-now-its-too-late-to-sign-up/2024/02/13/">Rural Americans Were Less Likely to Enroll in a Federal Broadband Assistance Program. Now It’s Too Late to Sign up </a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1742. ]]></description>
  1743. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="622" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C622&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C462&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C787&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C467&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C933&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1244&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C729&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C622&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C953&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C243&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C429&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/AP22070752402084-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C622&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1744. <p>Rural households were not as likely as their urban counterparts to enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal fund that is running out of money to help low income families connect to the internet.</p>
  1745.  
  1746.  
  1747.  
  1748. <p>About a third (37%) of rural households that are eligible for the monthly discount on broadband subscriptions had enrolled in the program as of December 2023. A Daily Yonder analysis showed that 3.2 million rural households had signed up for the benefit, while just over half of eligible metropolitan households have enrolled in the program.</p>
  1749.  
  1750.  
  1751.  
  1752. <iframe title="Percentage of Eligible Households Enrolled in Affordable Connectivity Program" aria-label="Map" id="datawrapper-chart-nxPPZ" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/nxPPZ/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="590" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(a){if(void 0!==a.data["datawrapper-height"]){var e=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var t in a.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<e.length;r++)if(e[r].contentWindow===a.source){var i=a.data["datawrapper-height"][t]+"px";e[r].style.height=i}}}))}();</script>
  1753.  
  1754.  
  1755.  
  1756. <p>The program stopped taking new applications for support February 8 and will run out of funding in late April, according to <a href="https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-399614A1.pdf">a letter to Congres</a>s sent by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Even the residents who met the enrollment deadline aren’t totally in the clear. Current program participants, including millions of rural households, are at risk of losing benefits if Congress doesn’t approve additional funding to keep the program running.</p>
  1757.  
  1758.  
  1759.  
  1760. <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Who Took Advantage of the Affordable Connectivity Program?</h2>
  1761.  
  1762.  
  1763.  
  1764. <p>Before ACP stopped accepting new enrollments last week, <a href="https://www.usac.org/about/affordable-connectivity-program/application-and-eligibility-resources/household-eligibility/">households were eligible</a> to sign up to receive a broadband discount of up $30 per month if their income was at or below <a href="https://www.usac.org/about/affordable-connectivity-program/application-and-eligibility-resources/how-to-prove-income/">200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines</a>, or if they received aid from certain federal assistance programs like SNAP or Medicaid.&nbsp;</p>
  1765.  
  1766.  
  1767.  
  1768. <p>An estimated 5.4 million rural households met these criteria but did not sign up for ACP, something the <a href="https://www.benton.org/blog/half-acp-eligible-households-still-unaware-program">Benton Institute for Broadband and Society </a>said was probably due to lack of awareness about the program.&nbsp;</p>
  1769.  
  1770.  
  1771.  
  1772. <p>People who lived in cities with over 1 million residents were more likely to take advantage of ACP compared to all other geographies. Fifty-three percent of eligible households were served by ACP in those major metropolitan areas last December, compared to about 47% of households in the suburbs of those cities.</p>
  1773.  
  1774.  
  1775.  
  1776. <p>Participation rates in cities with populations between 250,000 and one million were comparable to the major cities. About half of eligible households were enrolled in those medium sized metros, while small cities with fewer than 250,000 residents only had a participation rate of 44%. </p>
  1777.  
  1778.  
  1779.  
  1780. <iframe title="Percentage of Eligible Households Enrolled in Affordable Connectivity Program" aria-label="Grouped Columns" id="datawrapper-chart-7tLIW" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/7tLIW/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="431" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(a){if(void 0!==a.data["datawrapper-height"]){var e=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var t in a.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<e.length;r++)if(e[r].contentWindow===a.source){var i=a.data["datawrapper-height"][t]+"px";e[r].style.height=i}}}))}();</script>
  1781.  
  1782.  
  1783.  
  1784. <p>“Factors like very low incomes, lack of labor force participation, and some sociodemographic factors are all strongly positively related with ACP adoption,” said Brian Whitacre, a rural economist at Oklahoma State University.</p>
  1785.  
  1786.  
  1787.  
  1788. <p>Enrollment is likely to be higher in places where a greater share of the population is African American or Hispanic, or where residents have lower education attainment, according to Whitacre.</p>
  1789.  
  1790.  
  1791.  
  1792. <p>“Other social and community indicators are important, like access to a library,” Whitacre said.</p>
  1793.  
  1794.  
  1795.  
  1796. <p>Rural residents generally have less access to libraries and other kinds of infrastructure that makes it easier for people to sign up for federal programs, as we’ve <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/lack-of-access-to-infrastructure-hurts-voter-participation-in-rural-america/2023/04/11/">previously reported</a>.&nbsp;</p>
  1797.  
  1798.  
  1799.  
  1800. <p>“Distance is a penalty,” wrote Benton Institute Senior Fellow John Horrigan in a <a href="https://www.benton.org/blog/affordable-connectivity-program-and-rural-america">report</a> about rural participation in ACP. “[Rural] people are farther away from public libraries and other anchor institutions that may facilitate ACP enrollment. Word-of-mouth about the program from trusted neighbors may have less impact with fewer people nearby.”</p>
  1801.  
  1802.  
  1803.  
  1804. <p>Horrigan also attributes lack of broadband availability to low enrollment rates in rural areas. Households that can’t get wired broadband service at any price aren’t helped by a $30 subscription subsidy. Whitacre said some states have also done a better job than others at promoting ACP and encouraging eligible people to sign up.&nbsp;</p>
  1805.  
  1806.  
  1807.  
  1808. <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Rural Participation Was Dire in Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming</h2>
  1809.  
  1810.  
  1811.  
  1812. <p>Alaska had the lowest rural participation in the nation. Only 4,666 rural Alaskan households (about 10% of eligible households) were enrolled, leaving behind 38,000 households in need of broadband assistance in the state. Participation rates in some rural Alaskan areas, like Yakutat City and North Slope Borough, barely exceed a percentage point of all eligible households.&nbsp;</p>
  1813.  
  1814.  
  1815.  
  1816. <p>But Alaska’s low enrollment is likely due to the lack of service availability in remote regions, according to data from the <a href="https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/location-summary/fixed?version=jun2023&amp;zoom=4.00&amp;vlon=-154.650760&amp;vlat=59.803072&amp;br=r&amp;speed=25_3&amp;tech=1_2_3_4_5_6_7_8">FCC’s Broadband Map</a>. People generally have access to broadband in cities like Fairbanks and Anchorage, but it’s much harder to come by in the state’s most rural areas.</p>
  1817.  
  1818.  
  1819.  
  1820. <p>States like Idaho and Montana also have pockets of missing coverage in the most rural areas. In Prairie County, Montana, for example, only 31% of the county has access to an internet speed of 25MBps, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/07/19/fcc-broadband-new-definition-100mbps/">which most consider insufficient to power multiple devices</a>. Only 5% of eligible households in Prairie County are enrolled in ACP.</p>
  1821.  
  1822.  
  1823.  
  1824. <iframe title="Percentage of Eligible Rural Households Enrolled in Affordable Connectivity Program" aria-label="Map" id="datawrapper-chart-V3qWz" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/V3qWz/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="559" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(a){if(void 0!==a.data["datawrapper-height"]){var e=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var t in a.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<e.length;r++)if(e[r].contentWindow===a.source){var i=a.data["datawrapper-height"][t]+"px";e[r].style.height=i}}}))}();</script>
  1825.  
  1826.  
  1827.  
  1828. <p>In Idaho, meanwhile, only 15% of rural households that could have signed for ACP actually did so, which means that 85,000 rural Idahoan households that could benefit from the broadband discount now won’t be able to enroll, even if they do live in an area with access.</p>
  1829.  
  1830.  
  1831.  
  1832. <p>On the Montana border in Clark County, Idaho, only 236 rural households were enrolled in ACP, 1% of the total households that meet the eligibility criteria.</p>
  1833.  
  1834.  
  1835.  
  1836. <p>Twenty-three percent of eligible households in rural Wyoming were enrolled in ACP, exceeding Idaho’s rate by 8 percentage points but still falling behind the national rural participation rate of 37%. Eleven thousand rural Wyoming households were receiving aid through ACP in December, leaving 38,000 households potentially in need of assistance.&nbsp;</p>
  1837.  
  1838.  
  1839.  
  1840. <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Rural Southerners Took Advantage of ACP Benefits</h2>
  1841.  
  1842.  
  1843.  
  1844. <p>The South had the best rural participation rates in the nation in December. Forty-one percent of eligible rural households in Southern states were enrolled in ACP. About half of eligible urban southerners were signed up.</p>
  1845.  
  1846.  
  1847.  
  1848. <p>North Carolina has the most rural participants in ACP by raw numbers. About 217,000 rural North Carolinian households were enrolled in December, comprising about half of the total rural households eligible.</p>
  1849.  
  1850.  
  1851.  
  1852. <div class="wp-block-columns is-layout-flex wp-container-core-columns-layout-3 wp-block-columns-is-layout-flex">
  1853. <div class="wp-block-column is-layout-flow wp-block-column-is-layout-flow" style="flex-basis:66.66%">
  1854. <iframe title="" aria-label="Map" id="datawrapper-chart-eg8UU" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/eg8UU/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="456" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(a){if(void 0!==a.data["datawrapper-height"]){var e=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var t in a.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<e.length;r++)if(e[r].contentWindow===a.source){var i=a.data["datawrapper-height"][t]+"px";e[r].style.height=i}}}))}();</script>
  1855. </div>
  1856.  
  1857.  
  1858.  
  1859. <div class="wp-block-column is-layout-flow wp-block-column-is-layout-flow" style="flex-basis:33.33%">
  1860. <p>In rural Richmond County, North Carolina, 89% of eligible households received funding through ACP. Nearby Scotland and Robeson counties also had participation rates exceeding 75% of eligible households.&nbsp;</p>
  1861. </div>
  1862. </div>
  1863.  
  1864.  
  1865.  
  1866. <p>South Carolina had the best rural enrollment based on a percentage basis. The rural population in South Carolina is smaller than North Carolina, so there are fewer enrollees. But 52% of all eligible households in rural South Carolina were enrolled in December, compared to 49% in North Carolina.&nbsp;</p>
  1867.  
  1868.  
  1869.  
  1870. <p>In rural Dillon County, South Carolina, ACP served 7,500 households, about 79% of eligible households.</p>
  1871.  
  1872.  
  1873.  
  1874. <iframe title="Percentage of Eligible Households Enrolled in Affordable Connectivity Program" aria-label="Grouped Columns" id="datawrapper-chart-KtFS5" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/KtFS5/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="431" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(a){if(void 0!==a.data["datawrapper-height"]){var e=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var t in a.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<e.length;r++)if(e[r].contentWindow===a.source){var i=a.data["datawrapper-height"][t]+"px";e[r].style.height=i}}}))}();
  1875. </script>
  1876.  
  1877.  
  1878.  
  1879. <p>The state with the second highest rural participation rate was Kentucky, where 51% of eligible households were enrolled in ACP. Over 200,000 rural Kentuckian households took advantage of the broadband discount in December. Rates were particularly high in eastern Kentucky communities like Whitley County, where 74% of eligible households received broadband.</p>
  1880.  
  1881.  
  1882.  
  1883. <p>On the national level, enrollment was best in metropolitan areas of the Midwest, where 55% of eligible households were receiving some kind of discount through ACP. But only 36% of eligible households in rural Midwestern counties were enrolled.</p>
  1884.  
  1885.  
  1886.  
  1887. <p><em>This article defines rural as nonmetropolitan counties based on the 2013 Office of Management and Budget Metropolitan Statistical Areas.</em></p>
  1888. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/rural-americans-were-less-likely-to-enroll-in-a-federal-broadband-assistance-program-now-its-too-late-to-sign-up/2024/02/13/">Rural Americans Were Less Likely to Enroll in a Federal Broadband Assistance Program. Now It’s Too Late to Sign up </a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1889. ]]></content:encoded>
  1890. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/rural-americans-were-less-likely-to-enroll-in-a-federal-broadband-assistance-program-now-its-too-late-to-sign-up/2024/02/13/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  1891. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  1892. </item>
  1893. <item>
  1894. <title>New Black-Owned Freight Farm in Rural Minnesota to Tackle Food Insecurity, Health Inequities</title>
  1895. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/new-black-owned-freight-farm-in-rural-minnesota-to-tackle-food-insecurity-health-inequities/2024/02/13/</link>
  1896. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/new-black-owned-freight-farm-in-rural-minnesota-to-tackle-food-insecurity-health-inequities/2024/02/13/#respond</comments>
  1897. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Kristi Eaton]]></dc:creator>
  1898. <pubDate>Tue, 13 Feb 2024 11:00:00 +0000</pubDate>
  1899. <category><![CDATA[Agriculture]]></category>
  1900. <category><![CDATA[Growth and Development]]></category>
  1901. <category><![CDATA[Health]]></category>
  1902. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=121659</guid>
  1903.  
  1904. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="592" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C592&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C439&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C749&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C444&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C888&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1184&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C694&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C592&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C906&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C231&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C408&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C592&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1905. <p>The social enterprise Route 1 is going to operate a farm in a refurbished shipping container to offer healthy food options for local community members.</p>
  1906. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/new-black-owned-freight-farm-in-rural-minnesota-to-tackle-food-insecurity-health-inequities/2024/02/13/">New Black-Owned Freight Farm in Rural Minnesota to Tackle Food Insecurity, Health Inequities</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1907. ]]></description>
  1908. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="592" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C592&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?w=2560&amp;ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=760%2C439&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1296%2C749&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C444&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C888&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1184&amp;ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C694&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C592&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=1568%2C906&amp;ssl=1 1568w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=400%2C231&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?resize=706%2C408&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?w=2340&amp;ssl=1 2340w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Marcus-Carpenter-with-Farmer-scaled.jpg?fit=1024%2C592&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  1909. <p>A new initiative seeks to increase the number of farmers of color through a new freight farm to be placed in rural Minnesota.&nbsp;</p>
  1910.  
  1911.  
  1912.  
  1913. <p><a href="https://www.route1mn.org/">Route 1</a> is an organization focused on increasing food access, specifically by supporting Black, Brown, and Indigenous emerging farmers in the state, said Marcus Carpenter, founder of the organization.&nbsp;</p>
  1914.  
  1915.  
  1916.  
  1917. <p>In February, Route 1 will place its first freight farm in the rural community of Loretto, population 650. It will be the first Black-owned freight farm in Minnesota. </p>
  1918.  
  1919.  
  1920.  
  1921. <figure class="wp-block-image size-full"><a href="https://www.freightfarms.com/media-kit"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="520" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?resize=780%2C520&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-121883" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?w=1280&amp;ssl=1 1280w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?resize=760%2C506&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?resize=1200%2C800&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?resize=1024%2C682&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?resize=400%2C267&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?resize=706%2C470&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Masterclass2021__11Large.jpeg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">An exterior of a freight farm. (Source: Freight Farms)</figcaption></figure>
  1922.  
  1923.  
  1924.  
  1925. <p>“It allows the farmer..to take these farms and really place them wherever the need exists,” Carpenter told the Daily Yonder.&nbsp;</p>
  1926.  
  1927.  
  1928.  
  1929. <p>A company based out of Boston is supplying the refurbished shipping container upgraded with the latest technology, he said. “[It] really turns these farms into hydroponic powerhouses. So these farms have an opportunity to grow up to 1,000 pounds of fresh produce per week,” Carpenter added.</p>
  1930.  
  1931.  
  1932.  
  1933. <p>Nyra Jordan, social impact investment director with the <a href="https://www.amfaminstitute.com/">American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact</a>, is funding the project. The Institute was founded in 2018 to invest in social entrepreneurs and create community partnerships.</p>
  1934.  
  1935.  
  1936.  
  1937. <p>“We have concerns around hunger in America,” Jordan told the Daily Yonder. “But at this local level, and the work that Route 1 is doing, there is a solution…We feel by supporting markets and Route 1, it&#8217;s an innovative business model that will equip farmers with the land and resources that everyone needs for a thriving farming operation. And so we&#8217;re hoping that we can support economic opportunities and tackle hunger.”</p>
  1938.  
  1939.  
  1940.  
  1941. <p>In Minnesota, one in nearly ten households experience food insecurity, <a href="https://www.health.state.mn.us/docs/communities/titlev/foodaccess.pdf#:~:text=A%20lot%20of%20families%20may%20not%20consider%20themselves,the%20size%20of%20meals%20or%20skip%20them%20entirely.">according to the Minnesota Department of Health</a>.&nbsp;</p>
  1942.  
  1943.  
  1944.  
  1945. <p>The Institute funded $250,000 for the initial project, Jordan said.&nbsp;</p>
  1946.  
  1947.  
  1948.  
  1949. <p>“The freight farm will also enhance Route 1’s commitment to community economic growth,” Jordan said. “It&#8217;ll offer training and its technology to new and existing farmers, particularly in communities of color.”</p>
  1950.  
  1951.  
  1952.  
  1953. <p>The small container also helps keep the carbon footprint low, he said.&nbsp;</p>
  1954.  
  1955.  
  1956.  
  1957. <p>The freight farm will be delivered near the end of February, to coincide with Black History Month, Carpenter said. Route 1 will hire three to five individuals to work the freight farm and will then distribute the food grown to local communities. </p>
  1958.  
  1959.  
  1960.  
  1961. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><a href="https://www.freightfarms.com/media-kit"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="520" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?resize=780%2C520&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-121884" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?resize=1296%2C864&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?resize=760%2C507&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?resize=768%2C512&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?resize=1200%2C800&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?resize=1024%2C683&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?resize=600%2C400&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?resize=400%2C267&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?resize=706%2C471&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited.jpeg?w=1500&amp;ssl=1 1500w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/DSC_0513_Edited-1296x864.jpeg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">An example of how harvest may look like at a freight farm. (Source: Freight Farms)</figcaption></figure>
  1962.  
  1963.  
  1964.  
  1965. <p>“We feel like through the use of our freight farms, we&#8217;ll be able to give the ability and the access to folks who might not have access to farmland &#8211; [they] will be able to get access to be able to grow good vegetables within their neighborhoods, thereby increasing the access for families to food,” he said.&nbsp;</p>
  1966.  
  1967.  
  1968.  
  1969. <p>Route 1 also focuses on health equity. “People of color are dramatically and exponentially affected by those metrics,” Carpenter said. The death rate for Black Americans is generally higher than white people for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, among other conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services <a href="https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/blackafrican-american-health">Office of Minority Health</a>. </p>
  1970.  
  1971.  
  1972.  
  1973. <p>Jordan added that the project will also help boost Route 1’s Seed of Success Youth Academy, which introduces young people from diverse backgrounds to agriculture, and the fulfillment of growing and providing food.&nbsp;</p>
  1974.  
  1975.  
  1976.  
  1977. <p>“It will also enable farming to happen year-round, particularly within the winter months, like what we&#8217;re experiencing right now,” she said.&nbsp;</p>
  1978.  
  1979.  
  1980.  
  1981. <p>Carpenter is hoping the Loretto location is just the beginning.&nbsp;</p>
  1982.  
  1983.  
  1984.  
  1985. <p>“From there, we plan to expand throughout the Twin Cities, throughout the state of Minnesota, and then, hopefully, throughout the region in the country after that,” he said.&nbsp;</p>
  1986. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/new-black-owned-freight-farm-in-rural-minnesota-to-tackle-food-insecurity-health-inequities/2024/02/13/">New Black-Owned Freight Farm in Rural Minnesota to Tackle Food Insecurity, Health Inequities</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  1987. ]]></content:encoded>
  1988. <wfw:commentRss>https://dailyyonder.com/new-black-owned-freight-farm-in-rural-minnesota-to-tackle-food-insecurity-health-inequities/2024/02/13/feed/</wfw:commentRss>
  1989. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  1990. </item>
  1991. <item>
  1992. <title>Agriculture Built These High Plains Towns. Now, It Might Run Them Dry</title>
  1993. <link>https://dailyyonder.com/agriculture-built-these-high-plains-towns-now-it-might-run-them-dry/2024/02/13/</link>
  1994. <comments>https://dailyyonder.com/agriculture-built-these-high-plains-towns-now-it-might-run-them-dry/2024/02/13/#respond</comments>
  1995. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Kevin Hardy / Stateline and Allison Kite / Kansas Reflector]]></dc:creator>
  1996. <pubDate>Tue, 13 Feb 2024 10:59:00 +0000</pubDate>
  1997. <category><![CDATA[Agriculture]]></category>
  1998. <category><![CDATA[repub]]></category>
  1999. <category><![CDATA[Yonder Report]]></category>
  2000. <guid isPermaLink="false">https://dailyyonder.com/?p=122961</guid>
  2001.  
  2002. <description><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="768" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C768&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?w=1536&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=760%2C570&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=1296%2C972&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=768%2C576&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=1200%2C900&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=800%2C600&amp;ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=600%2C450&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=400%2C300&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=200%2C150&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=1024%2C768&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=706%2C530&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C768&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  2003. <p>This story was originally published by Stateline and the Kansas Reflector. Brownie Wilson pulls off a remote dirt road right through a steep ditch and onto a farmer’s field. He hops out of his white Silverado pickup, mud covering nearly all of it except the Kansas Geological Survey logo stuck on the side with electrical [&#8230;]</p>
  2004. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/agriculture-built-these-high-plains-towns-now-it-might-run-them-dry/2024/02/13/">Agriculture Built These High Plains Towns. Now, It Might Run Them Dry</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
  2005. ]]></description>
  2006. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure><img width="1024" height="768" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C768&amp;ssl=1" class="attachment-rss-image-size size-rss-image-size wp-post-image" alt="" decoding="async" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?w=1536&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=760%2C570&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=1296%2C972&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=768%2C576&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=1200%2C900&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=800%2C600&amp;ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=600%2C450&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=400%2C300&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=200%2C150&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=1024%2C768&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=706%2C530&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C768&amp;ssl=1&amp;w=370 370w" sizes="(max-width: 34.9rem) calc(100vw - 2rem), (max-width: 53rem) calc(8 * (100vw / 12)), (min-width: 53rem) calc(6 * (100vw / 12)), 100vw" /></figure>
  2007. <p class="has-text-align-center"><em>This story was originally published by <a href="https://stateline.org/2024/01/29/agriculture-built-these-high-plains-towns-now-it-might-run-them-dry/">Stateline</a> and the <a href="https://kansasreflector.com/2024/01/29/agriculture-built-these-high-plains-towns-now-it-might-run-them-dry/">Kansas Reflector</a>. </em></p>
  2008.  
  2009.  
  2010.  
  2011. <p>Brownie Wilson pulls off a remote dirt road right through a steep ditch and onto a farmer’s field.</p>
  2012.  
  2013.  
  2014.  
  2015. <p>He hops out of his white Silverado pickup, mud covering nearly all of it except the Kansas Geological Survey logo stuck on the side with electrical tape. Dry cornstalks crunch under his work boots as he makes his way to a decommissioned irrigation well.</p>
  2016.  
  2017.  
  2018.  
  2019. <p>He unspools a steel highway tape measure a few feet at a time and feeds it into the well until gravity takes over. He keeps a thumb on it to control the speed.</p>
  2020.  
  2021.  
  2022.  
  2023. <p>How much of the tape comes out wet lets him calculate how much water has been lost here.</p>
  2024.  
  2025.  
  2026.  
  2027. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="585" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=780%2C585&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-122970" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=1296%2C972&amp;ssl=1 1296w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=760%2C570&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=768%2C576&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=1200%2C900&amp;ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=800%2C600&amp;ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=600%2C450&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=400%2C300&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=200%2C150&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=1024%2C768&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?resize=706%2C530&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1.jpg?w=1536&amp;ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-field-1536x1152-1-1296x972.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">&nbsp;Brownie Wilson kneels next to a decommissioned irrigation well outside Moscow, Kansas, as part of the Kansas Geological Survey’s efforts to measure the decline of the Ogallala Aquifer. Groundwater has been declining for decades because of irrigation in the eight states that rely on the aquifer. (Photo by Kevin Hardy/Stateline)</figcaption></figure>
  2028.  
  2029.  
  2030.  
  2031. <p>Wilson crisscrosses western Kansas every January to measure wells and track the rapid decline of the Ogallala Aquifer, which contains the nation’s largest underground store of fresh water.</p>
  2032.  
  2033.  
  2034.  
  2035. <p>Last year, some wells had dropped 10 feet or more because of the severe 2022 drought. But this year, they stayed about the same or dropped a couple feet. Some of these wells have dropped more than 100 feet since Wilson started working for the agency in 2001, he said.</p>
  2036.  
  2037.  
  2038.  
  2039. <p>“Some of our issues looking forward look gargantuan,” Wilson said. “But I do think we can peck away at it and make some headway.”</p>
  2040.  
  2041.  
  2042.  
  2043. <p>The Ogallala Aquifer, the underground rock and sediment formation that spans eight states from South Dakota to the Texas Panhandle, is the only reliable water source for some parts of the region. But for decades, states have allowed farmers to overpump groundwater to irrigate corn and other crops that would otherwise struggle on the arid High Plains.</p>
  2044.  
  2045.  
  2046.  
  2047. <p>Now, the disappearing water is threatening more than just agriculture. Rural communities are facing dire futures where water is no longer a certainty. Across the Ogallala, small towns and cities built around agriculture are facing a twisted threat: The very industry that made their communities might just eradicate them.</p>
  2048.  
  2049.  
  2050.  
  2051. <p>Kansas Democratic Governor Laura Kelly acknowledges some communities are just a generation away from running out of water. But she said there’s still time to act.</p>
  2052.  
  2053.  
  2054.  
  2055. <p>“If they do nothing, I think they’re going to suffer the consequences,” Kelly said in an interview.</p>
  2056.  
  2057.  
  2058.  
  2059. <p>Today, the aquifer supports 20% of the nation’s wheat, corn, cotton and cattle production and represents 30% of all water used for irrigation&nbsp;in the United States.</p>
  2060.  
  2061.  
  2062.  
  2063. <p>Depletion is forcing aquifer-dependent communities across the region to dig deeper wells, purchase expensive water rights from farmers, build pipelines and recycle their water supplies in new ways to save every drop possible.</p>
  2064.  
  2065.  
  2066.  
  2067. <p>Since the mid-20th century, when large-scale irrigation began,&nbsp;water&nbsp;levels in the stretches of the Ogallala&nbsp;underlying Kansas have dropped an average 28.2 feet farther below the surface, far worse than the eight-state average of 16.8 feet.</p>
  2068.  
  2069.  
  2070.  
  2071. <p>Water levels in Texas, where the Ogallala runs under the state’s panhandle, have dropped 44 feet. New Mexico has seen a 19.1-foot decline.</p>
  2072.  
  2073.  
  2074.  
  2075. <p>In&nbsp;Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming, the&nbsp;water level has declined less than&nbsp;the eight-state average, while&nbsp;in&nbsp;South Dakota it has risen.</p>
  2076.  
  2077.  
  2078.  
  2079. <p>While the Ogallala Aquifer presents distinct circumstances, tensions over groundwater are growing across the country, said climate scientist and author Peter Gleick, who founded the Pacific Institute, a global water think tank.</p>
  2080.  
  2081.  
  2082.  
  2083. <p>“You’re not alone,” Gleick told Kansas irrigators and policymakers at the Governor’s Conference on Water, held in November in Manhattan, Kansas.&nbsp;“A lot of the issues that you’re dealing with in Kansas, they’re dealing with in Arizona, and the Colorado [River] basin.”</p>
  2084.  
  2085.  
  2086.  
  2087. <p>Without drastic measures, some communities may not survive.</p>
  2088.  
  2089.  
  2090.  
  2091. <p>“I think, without a doubt, we will see some communities dry up,” Gleick said in an interview. “We’ve seen that historically, where communities outgrow a natural resource or lose a natural resource and people have to move to abandon their homes.”</p>
  2092.  
  2093.  
  2094.  
  2095. <h3 class="wp-block-heading">‘We’re Running Out of Water’</h3>
  2096.  
  2097.  
  2098.  
  2099. <p>When Micheal Shannon got his start in local government over 40 years ago, water supplies were not top of mind.</p>
  2100.  
  2101.  
  2102.  
  2103. <p>Those days are gone.</p>
  2104.  
  2105.  
  2106.  
  2107. <p>“We’re running out of water,” said Shannon, the interim city manager in Guymon, Oklahoma. “We’re pumping our maximum. And the water levels keep coming down.”</p>
  2108.  
  2109.  
  2110.  
  2111. <p>The largest city in the Oklahoma Panhandle, Guymon relies on 18 wells to draw water from the Ogallala. But dropping water levels have forced the city of about 13,000 to explore new wells outside of town.</p>
  2112.  
  2113.  
  2114.  
  2115. <figure class="wp-block-pullquote"><blockquote><p>&#8220;We’re running out of water. We’re pumping our maximum. And the water levels keep coming down.&#8221;</p><cite><strong>Micheal Shannon, interim city manager of Guymon, Oklahoma</strong></cite></blockquote></figure>
  2116.  
  2117.  
  2118.  
  2119. <p>The city has already committed some $4.5 million to study and drill new wells, but there’s no guarantee the wells will produce a reliable water supply.</p>
  2120.  
  2121.  
  2122.  
  2123. <p>“There’s always that what if,” he said. “There could not be any water.”</p>
  2124.  
  2125.  
  2126.  
  2127. <p>The city’s largest water user and employer is a massive pork plant that slaughters and processes more than 20,000 hogs per day. The plant has voluntarily reduced water usage by nearly half during times of shortened supply.</p>
  2128.  
  2129.  
  2130.  
  2131. <p>Shannon said the city, industry and agricultural producers must work together.</p>
  2132.  
  2133.  
  2134.  
  2135. <p>“We all still want to be here the next 35, 40 years,” he said. “We know farmers are going to have to produce ag products. And the citizens of Guymon are going to have to have water.”</p>
  2136.  
  2137.  
  2138.  
  2139. <p>More than 200 miles away, several New Mexico communities are banking on more drastic measures.</p>
  2140.  
  2141.  
  2142.  
  2143. <p>A new pipeline, expected to cost more than $800 million, will bring water from the Canadian River’s Ute Reservoir to four municipalities and Cannon Air Force Base.</p>
  2144.  
  2145.  
  2146.  
  2147. <p>“This is our future, no doubt about it,” said Orlando Ortega, administrator of the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority. “Without this project, none of these communities could exist for very long.”</p>
  2148.  
  2149.  
  2150.  
  2151. <p>The pipeline is being funded largely by the federal government, though four participating communities have been paying dues to the water authority for years. Officials aim to have the pipeline operational by the end of the decade.</p>
  2152.  
  2153.  
  2154.  
  2155. <p>Even so, communities will still need to get more aggressive about conserving water, said Michael Morris, who leads the water authority board and is mayor of Clovis, one of its member communities.</p>
  2156.  
  2157.  
  2158.  
  2159. <p>Morris is active in agricultural efforts to decrease pumping — such as&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://www.ogalwc.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener">conservation programs</a>&nbsp;in the region that pay producers to stop pumping. And the city is working to expand water recycling efforts.</p>
  2160.  
  2161.  
  2162.  
  2163. <p>But he said the situation is even more dire than locals realize. Few know how close Clovis has come to seeing its water demand outpace the underground supply.</p>
  2164.  
  2165.  
  2166.  
  2167. <p>“So is there another option?” he said. “No.”</p>
  2168.  
  2169.  
  2170.  
  2171. <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Decades of State Inaction</h3>
  2172.  
  2173.  
  2174.  
  2175. <p>In Kansas, the Ogallala Aquifer supplies 70% to 80% of the water residents use each day. But for decades, the state’s regulation of water benefited its largest user and its largest industry: agriculture.</p>
  2176.  
  2177.  
  2178.  
  2179. <p>The once-abundant water allowed farmers to grow cheap cattle feed, attracting the feedlots, and increasingly, dairy farms, that dot southwest Kansas.</p>
  2180.  
  2181.  
  2182.  
  2183. <p>But that feed is cheap, partly because — aside from the fuel costs associated with running a well — the water is free. A report commissioned by the Kansas legislature in 1955 warned of a future without it.</p>
  2184.  
  2185.  
  2186.  
  2187. <p>“Ground-water mining is a serious problem,” the report says.</p>
  2188.  
  2189.  
  2190.  
  2191. <p>After the grave 1955 warning, however, the state legislature only made it easier to pump the water, according to Burke Griggs, a water law professor at Washburn University in Topeka.</p>
  2192.  
  2193.  
  2194.  
  2195. <p>Griggs, formerly a water lawyer for the state, criticized Kansas lawmakers’ decadeslong posture that depletion would best be solved locally. He said it is a stance held by every governor since the 1980s.</p>
  2196.  
  2197.  
  2198.  
  2199. <p>“They want it to be voluntary. And they want it to be cooperative. They want to have local-based solutions,” Griggs said. “These are the catchwords you hear. None of them have achieved much.”</p>
  2200.  
  2201.  
  2202.  
  2203. <p>Kelly follows the same line. The second-term governor recently signed a law mandating more reporting and planning from groundwater management districts and created a new subcabinet to coordinate water issues across agencies. But she hasn’t wavered from her position that water conservation efforts are most effective when they are voluntary.</p>
  2204.  
  2205.  
  2206.  
  2207. <p>“Things are more likely to work out in the long run and succeed if there is local buy-in, and local commitment and the idea is generated locally — rather than the state wielding that heavy hammer,” Kelly said.</p>
  2208.  
  2209.  
  2210.  
  2211. <p>But even some farmers want the state to step in, water policy watchers say.</p>
  2212.  
  2213.  
  2214.  
  2215. <p>“Many families who are trying to make a living from farming, and who would like to keep farming on their own land, are just waiting for the state to step in and help them fix this. Most people agree that we need fair, enforceable and transparent rules to get this turned around,” said&nbsp;Lucas&nbsp;Bessire, a professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma who grew up in southwest Kansas.</p>
  2216.  
  2217.  
  2218.  
  2219. <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Voluntary Efforts in Action</h3>
  2220.  
  2221.  
  2222.  
  2223. <p>For the first time since their father dug an irrigation well in the dusty sandhills of southwest Kansas more than 50 years ago, Gina and Marc Gigot’s farm isn’t growing corn.</p>
  2224.  
  2225.  
  2226.  
  2227. <p>The sibling farmers are trying to preserve the precious water below their land outside Garden City.</p>
  2228.  
  2229.  
  2230.  
  2231. <p>For decades,&nbsp;the Gigot family has benefited from drawing groundwater to the surface to grow bright green circles of crops where the sandy soil is otherwise so dusty it might blow away.</p>
  2232.  
  2233.  
  2234.  
  2235. <p>As Marc’s pickup bumps along the farm’s private roads, he and Gina point to the electric systems and water pipes laid by their father. Some of the massive center pivot systems use the same parts he installed 50 years ago.</p>
  2236.  
  2237.  
  2238.  
  2239. <p>To extend the life of the aquifer, the siblings are opting for&nbsp;fewer water-intensive crops and grazing cattle. The farm has historically been among Kansas’ largest water users, irrigating 9,000 acres, but they’ve cut their usage in recent years and committed to another 10 years of voluntary water conservation.</p>
  2240.  
  2241.  
  2242.  
  2243. <p>In exchange, they get more flexibility in how they use the water. As long as they hit their five-year goal, they can pump more water in drought years.</p>
  2244.  
  2245.  
  2246.  
  2247. <figure class="wp-block-image size-full"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="585" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?resize=780%2C585&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-122967" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?w=1024&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?resize=760%2C570&amp;ssl=1 760w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?resize=768%2C576&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?resize=800%2C600&amp;ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?resize=600%2C450&amp;ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?resize=400%2C300&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?resize=200%2C150&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?resize=706%2C530&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-siblings-1024x768-1.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">&nbsp;Gina and Marc Gigot stand in front of a center pivot irrigation system on their farm outside of Garden City, Kansas. The farm has historically been among the largest water users in Kansas, but has cut usage in recent years as part of voluntary conservation measures aimed at slowing the decline of the Ogallala Aquifer. (Photo by Kevin Hardy/Stateline)</figcaption></figure>
  2248.  
  2249.  
  2250.  
  2251. <p>Beyond that, they’re partnering with Garden City, the largest city in southwest Kansas and a major agricultural hub. Garden City’s municipal water wells sit right next door to the Gigot farm, which can directly impact the city’s ability to supply drinking water.</p>
  2252.  
  2253.  
  2254.  
  2255. <p>To keep more water underground, Garden City will soon divert treated wastewater to the Gigot farm — rather than continuing to dump it into the bone-dry bed of the Arkansas River. That will allow the farm to turn off some wells.</p>
  2256.  
  2257.  
  2258.  
  2259. <p>“It’s not really a situation where either the city gets what they need or the irrigators get what they need. It is way more symbiotic,” said Fred Jones, who oversees Garden City’s water.</p>
  2260.  
  2261.  
  2262.  
  2263. <p>In northwest Kansas, a group of farmers voluntarily cut their water usage by 20% through a five-year conservation program with the state. They switched from corn to wheat or grain sorghum and used irrigation more strategically. Farmers in the area exceeded their goal and cut use, on average, 23.1% over the initial five-year period and slowed the decline of the aquifer from 2 feet per year to less than half a foot.</p>
  2264.  
  2265.  
  2266.  
  2267. <p>Still, the Gigots said the state must force other producers to cut back.</p>
  2268.  
  2269.  
  2270.  
  2271. <p>Even Kansas Farm Bureau President Joe Newland said he’s fearful that voluntary efforts aren’t enough.</p>
  2272.  
  2273.  
  2274.  
  2275. <p>Newland, a former Kansas Republican legislator, offered an amendment in 2022 that effectively sank a&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://kansasreflector.com/2022/03/01/shooting-themselves-in-the-foot-committee-guts-kansas-bill-to-protect-water/" rel="noreferrer noopener">massive bill</a>&nbsp;designed to make the aquifer a higher priority in state government, impose more requirements on local groundwater officials, and give communities a greater voice in decisions over water.</p>
  2276.  
  2277.  
  2278.  
  2279. <p>In Kansas, the agricultural industry, led in part by Newland,&nbsp;has largely pushed back against aggressive water restrictions, instead calling for voluntary conservation measures. But Newland worries that those voluntary measures haven’t saved enough water, which could&nbsp;eventually&nbsp;push the state to hand down strict mandates.</p>
  2280.  
  2281.  
  2282.  
  2283. <p>“I’m always hopeful and prayerful that people realize just how important it is that we’re doing this on a voluntary basis and not ever have to go through a mandatory situation,” he said. “But that’s going to be determined in the near future how this works, because, as I said, we don’t have decades to fix this problem.”</p>
  2284.  
  2285.  
  2286.  
  2287. <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Kansas Towns Take the Lead</h3>
  2288.  
  2289.  
  2290.  
  2291. <p>Few places evoke the Old West like Dodge City, where Wyatt Earp patrolled the lawless streets rife with gambling, saloons and shootouts.</p>
  2292.  
  2293.  
  2294.  
  2295. <p>Today, the city proudly displays remnants of those days at the Boot Hill Museum, which contains a reproduction of the legendary Long Branch Saloon and an Old West photo booth for visitors.</p>
  2296.  
  2297.  
  2298.  
  2299. <p>But the former frontier outpost has embraced some of the state’s most progressive water strategies.</p>
  2300.  
  2301.  
  2302.  
  2303. <p>“We were recycling before recycling was cool,” said City Manager Nick Hernandez, who highlighted water reuse efforts that began in the 1980s.</p>
  2304.  
  2305.  
  2306.  
  2307. <p>Effluent from one of the city’s wastewater treatment plants keeps a golf course green. Another plant sends about 1.8 billion gallons of treated wastewater to irrigate 3,000 acres of crops at a nearby farm, reducing the need for aquifer pumping.</p>
  2308.  
  2309.  
  2310.  
  2311. <p>Another project aims to directly recharge the aquifer with treated wastewater. That will not only help protect the city’s quantity of water, but also prevent contamination from agricultural runoff like nitrates by keeping the hydraulic pressure up in city wells, he said.</p>
  2312.  
  2313.  
  2314.  
  2315. <p>That project is expected to cost $60 million. Dodge City, home to about 28,000 people,&nbsp;is seeking federal and state assistance for the effort. But even without grants, Hernandez said that would prove cheaper than buying water rights and digging new wells.</p>
  2316.  
  2317.  
  2318.  
  2319. <p>All those projects are building toward treating the city’s sewage directly into drinkable water — still&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://stateline.org/2023/12/12/from-flush-to-faucet-more-places-look-to-turn-sewage-into-tap-water/" rel="noreferrer noopener">an emerging idea in most parts of the country.</a>&nbsp;That would allow the city to decrease demand on groundwater by continually reusing its water.</p>
  2320.  
  2321.  
  2322.  
  2323. <p>“We all have a concern about the stability of the aquifer because that’s our lifeline,” said Ray Slattery, the city’s director of engineering services. “But I feel very good about where the city is, and what we’ve done in the past to conserve. We knew it was important and so we took steps way before it became a problem.”</p>
  2324.  
  2325.  
  2326.  
  2327. <p>Communities such as Dodge City offer a glimpse into the future of municipal water supplies in the region, said state Representative Jim Minnix, a Republican who represents part of western Kansas and leads the House Water Committee.</p>
  2328.  
  2329.  
  2330. <div class="wp-block-image">
  2331. <figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img decoding="async" width="780" height="1009" src="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-map-1187x1536-1.jpg?resize=780%2C1009&#038;ssl=1" alt="" class="wp-image-122964" style="width:1025px;height:auto" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-map-1187x1536-1.jpg?resize=1002%2C1296&amp;ssl=1 1002w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-map-1187x1536-1.jpg?resize=587%2C760&amp;ssl=1 587w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-map-1187x1536-1.jpg?resize=768%2C994&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-map-1187x1536-1.jpg?resize=791%2C1024&amp;ssl=1 791w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-map-1187x1536-1.jpg?resize=400%2C518&amp;ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-map-1187x1536-1.jpg?resize=706%2C914&amp;ssl=1 706w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-map-1187x1536-1.jpg?w=1187&amp;ssl=1 1187w, https://i0.wp.com/dailyyonder.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/aquifer-map-1187x1536-1-1002x1296.jpg?w=370&amp;ssl=1 370w" sizes="(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Map by McGuire, V.L., and Strauch, K.R., 2022. Data from U.S. Geological Survey.</figcaption></figure></div>
  2332.  
  2333.  
  2334. <p>Minnix,&nbsp;who raises cattle and farms both dryland and irrigated crops, said cities and farms alike must adapt. Cities need to continue embracing water recycling efforts, reduce lawn watering and encourage more efficient appliances. Farmers, he said, should embrace new technologies such as more efficient irrigation systems and drought-resistant crops.</p>
  2335.  
  2336.  
  2337.  
  2338. <p>“You’d be amazed at the water quantity that’s actually being saved out there from what had been done 40, 50 years ago,” he said. “As a farmer myself, I know a lot of little things add up to something that’s really worthwhile. And to maintain our aquifer and our economy out here is absolutely worthwhile.”</p>
  2339.  
  2340.  
  2341.  
  2342. <p>But the way Connie Owen, director of the Kansas Water Office, sees it, change is coming to both agricultural and municipal water users one way or another.</p>
  2343.  
  2344.  
  2345.  
  2346. <p>“If we don’t adapt to different behaviors, it will run dry,” she said.&nbsp;“And that will cause the economic devastation that everyone fears with restrictions.”</p>
  2347. <p>The post <a href="https://dailyyonder.com/agriculture-built-these-high-plains-towns-now-it-might-run-them-dry/2024/02/13/">Agriculture Built These High Plains Towns. Now, It Might Run Them Dry</a> appeared first on <a href="https://dailyyonder.com">The Daily Yonder</a>.</p>
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