By Brian Depew

Amidst the turbulent political times for immigrants in our country, the Center for Rural Affairs reiterates its commitment to advancing a set of values that reflects the best of rural America. Among those values are responsibility placed upon each of us to contribute to our community and society, genuine opportunity for all to earn a living, raise a family, and prosper in a rural place, and fairness that allows all who contribute to the nation’s prosperity to share in it.

Based on these values, we are committed to equity and inclusion for all residents of rural America. From the first Native people in North America to the present, waves of newcomers have shaped rural America into the place we are proud to call home. Today, immigrants, refugees, and US-born folks with roots all over the world are living their American dreams in rural America. As in generations past, shifting demographics bring challenges and change alongside tremendous opportunity and benefits.

We work through the challenges and embrace the changes because we know that diversity makes us stronger and more resilient. New ideas grow when we live in diverse communities. Rural economies thrive when new arrivals join. Towns become more stable and more vibrant when young families move in.

The Center leads several initiatives to include rural America’s newest residents in advancing shared values. Our work provides training and access to credit to new Latino-owned businesses. Bilingual and bicultural farmer training programs offer skill building in production, business, and marketing to Latino farmers. Intercultural leadership programs help rural leaders of all ethnicities and backgrounds in newly diverse towns build inclusivity.

Our values guide us to come together despite our differences and to work together for a better future. We invite you to join us in putting the values of responsibility, opportunity, and fairness into action in our shared work on behalf of strong rural communities.


Brian Depew can be reached via email at, Center for Rural Affairs



Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.