Updated May 18, 2017

The following letter was written by Mark Thomas of Michigan State Extension, who attended Nebraska Extension's inaugural Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference in April of 2017.


I am sure you have had great feedback on the conference.  My appreciation of McCook continued after the conference.  As you know I was waiting for the midnight train to Michigan (apologizes to Gladys & The Pips "Midnight Train To Georgia") and remembering the High Plains Museum where the picture was taken, I made the decision to scope it out.

Updated Mar 06, 2017

A 2013 tax law change–the portability rule–can simplify farm and ranch estate planning. But farm and ranch families still need to do estate planning to develop and implement farm or ranch business transition plans so that the farm or ranch can continue to be successfully operated by the next generation. 

What is the portability rule? This is a fairly recent tax law that makes it easier for married couples to get a double federal estate tax exemption, currently from $5.49 million to $10.98 million per estate. 

Updated Mar 02, 2017

If you frequent a small town coffee shop in Nebraska you will probably hear conversations about the price of farm commodities, speculation about the next local high school game and frustration linked to the declining rural population. The first two topics seem to demand a little gossip and rumor but the last one, rural population change, can be supported with local, statewide and even national facts to make a more thoughtful discussion. Granted, this does not usually happen in the coffee shop.

Updated Aug 10, 2016

Lincoln, Nebraska, Aug. 8, 2016 -- Rural Nebraskans continue to be optimistic about their current situation and future, according to the 2016 Nebraska Rural Poll.

     Fifty-two percent of respondents said they are better off this year than five years ago, holding steady from 53 percent last year, the highest proportion in all 21 years of the study, also occurring in 2008. Only 16 percent said they were worse off.

Updated Aug 10, 2016
McCook, Neb. -- Several common themes emerged Thursday night as groups of volunteers gathered to present ideas formarketing McCook and making it a more attractive community for people to call home. The groups have been meeting over the past four to five weeks as part of the Marketing Hometown America program.

Updated Oct 05, 2016

Washington, DC, April 13, 2016—Local and regional food systems are helping revitalize rural and urban communities across the country.  The authors of a new U.S. Department of Agriculture guide to evaluate the economic impacts of investing in farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA), food hubs, and other local food systems will discuss the toolkit during a free webinar on Thursday, April 28, 2016, at 3 p.m. E.T.

Updated Oct 05, 2016

Webinar Details

Title: “The State of New-Media Marketing in the Green Industry and Implications for Small, Rural Businesses” 

Date: Thursday April 21, 2016

Time: 12:30 PM ET/11:30 AM CT


Webinar Description:

Updated Apr 18, 2016
Rural Job Creation Strategies: Collisions, Serendipity, and the Hybrid Vigor of Ideas Webinar April 20th – 6 PM CST   •         Learn ways small towns are connecting their small businesses and would-be entrepreneurs with the support and network they need to be successful and create jobs.  
Updated Oct 19, 2015

                 Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 19, 2015 -- Rural Nebraskans gave positive ratings to their communities, while optimism about the expected change in their community has increased over the past five years, the 2015 Nebraska Rural Poll shows.