The annual meeting of a regional rural group is affected, but only a little, by the wintry weather. The Center for Rural Affairs based in Walthill Nebraska pushed back the opening of the Saturday annual conference by an hour, in deference to many who have a long way to go on snowpacked rural highways. But a full slate of events is still on at the school in Lyons, Nebraska, from conservation to community development. Organizers are offering tips on dealing with pressing issues like the ongoing drought that’s hit Nebraska and Western Iowa hard, and diversification, from free-range non-hormone-treated livestock to crops beyond beans and corn. Morning and afternoon sessions offer teach-ins on the federal budget, this year’s state legislative priorities for farmers, producing value-added crops and products, and retirement and investment planning. There’s a small business fair throughout the day and lunch is, of course, a choice of family-farm raised beef or chicken.
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