Articles on Rural America

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Bottled water distribution in Glenwood, Iowa, where massive spring flooding along the Missouri River disrupted drinking water treatment, April 3, 2019. AP Photo/Nati Harnik

The US drinking water supply is mostly safe, but that’s not good enough

A grade of 92 is an A at most schools, but for tap water it means that millions of Americans drink water that fails to met federal standards.
Historic flooding in the Midwest, including this farm in Nebraska, has caused widespread damage. DroneBase via AP

For a flooded Midwest, climate forecasts offer little comfort

A climatologist who studies precipitation trends explains how climate change is projected to make flooding events in the Midwest more severe and more frequent.
Rock Hills Ranch in South Dakota uses managed grazing techniques to maintain healthy, diverse plant communities in its pastures. Lars Ploughmann

Regenerative agriculture can make farmers stewards of the land again

US agriculture is dominated by large farms that rely on chemical inputs. In contrast, regenerative farming makes land and water healthier by mimicking nature instead of trying to control it.
Since the Great Recession, the employment rate has gone up — but some rural groups lag behind. Josh Sorenson

Rural people with disabilities are still struggling to recover from the recession

There's a notable disparity between the rate of employment for people with and without disabilities, especially in certain pockets of the US.
A barn that can hold up to 4,800 hogs outside Berwick, Pa. The state says the farm is in compliance with regulations, but residents have gone to court seeking relief from odors. AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam

Rural Americans’ struggles against factory farm pollution find traction in court

Many people who live near large-scale livestock farms complain about noxious smells, air and water pollution and health risks. With little help from regulators, they are turning to lawsuits.
Florida gun owners marching with loaded firearms REUTERS/Chris Tilley

Want to understand gun owners? Watch their videos

Here's a challenge for gun control proponents: Watch 100 videos made by gun owners and gun rights advocates. One scholar watched these videos over five years and something surprising happened to her.
Soybean crop on a family farm near Humboldt, Iowa, 2017. USDA/Preston Keres

What the 2018 farm bill means for urban, suburban and rural America

Congress is drafting the 2018 farm bill, which will guide agriculture, nutrition, trade and rural development policy. A former agriculture secretary explains how this bill reaches far beyond farms.
Rural schools are an often overlooked part of the public education system. Sascha Erni/flickr

The unique case for rural charter schools

Nationwide, 16 percent of charter schools are rural. Yet, somehow these key players are often overlooked.
The divide is in the data. American Community Survey (ACS) 2011-2015 5 year estimates, Table S1810

Six charts that illustrate the divide between rural and urban America

More and more people are talking about the 'rural-urban divide,' but what does that phrase actually mean? We asked experts from around the country to illustrate the gap in graphs and maps.

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