The NCSL Blog

Agriculture and rural development

22
Growing State Support for Agritourism Amid the Pandemic

Did you make your way through a corn maze this year, pick a pumpkin, blueberries or apples, or enjoy a socially distanced wine tasting or gourmet dinner at a nearby farm? They all fall under the umbrella of agritourism and are increasingly seen as a way for farms and ranches to broaden their appeal and add to their bottom line.

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19
Celebrating State Innovations on National Rural Health Day 2020

Rural residents across the U.S. may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to the aging population, higher rates of underlying chronic disease, and higher likelihood of having a disability.

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18

America’s rural hospitals are ailing; undernourished and underpaid, squeezed by a population that is older, poorer, less insured and sicker than the nation at large. And closing at a rate that alarms health officials, who are witnessing the emptying of the health infrastructure for a wide swath of rural America.

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12
Rural Broadband: Where Data Can Be Very  S-L-O-W

In rural areas, 68.6% of Americans have access to both fixed and mobile broadband. In urban areas, it's nearly 98%. 

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21
Expanding Access to Care for Rural Residents Via Telehealth

Did you know that 113 million Americans lack access to appropriate mental health services? In fact, as of November 2019, 61 percent of mental health professional shortage areas—a designation that indicates health care provider shortages—are in rural areas.

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18
Using Addiction Counselors to Improve Access to Behavioral Health Services

Lack of access to behavioral health providers in rural areas continues to affect millions of Americans.

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29
Just Like the Plants,  Hemp Policy Conversations Continue to Grow

State policymakers, farmers, manufacturers and federal agencies are abuzz as they consider the possibilities of hemp production.

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07
Rural Economies: Left Behind or Poised for Resurgence?

Broadband isn't the only issue facing rural America, but it casts a wide shadow (probably slow-moving because, you know, dial-up) over efforts to rejuvenate rural areas.

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03
Webinar Thursday: “Opportunity Zones: State Strategies to Support Investments”

Opportunity Zones are a new federal tax credit established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to stimulate private investment in distressed communities across the United States. The program offers three incentives for investing in low-income communities.

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09
Chickens, Cattle and Policy All in a (Long) Day's Work

Going all the way back to the Founding Fathers, there's a long tradition of farmers who serve as legislators. Now meet a staffer who balances a full-time job with a full-time farm.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.