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Featured Article, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Nov 2, 2017

This Ag Economist Preached Bigger is Better. Now He Says the Evidence Favors Small Farms. (Episode 32)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sustainable-agriculture-blp-episode-31/

Since the 1960s, there’s been a concerted effort by economists and policymakers to consolidate family farms into large-scale industrial agriculture operations. The thinking was that these giant farms could better feed the world. Today’s guest, John Ikerd, was one of those economists — that is, until the farm crisis hit in the 1980s. Ikerd took a… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Oct 13, 2017

In Small-Town Iowa, a Movement to Own the Future — Episode 50 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/in-small-town-iowa-a-movement-to-own-the-future-episode-50-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

A citizen-led effort to establish in a city-run electric utility in the small northeast Iowa community of Decorah is picking up steam, with advocates — including some local officials — forecasting significant local economic growth powered by the transition. Decorah, with about 8,000 residents, is tucked in the northwest corner of Iowa just south of… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Oct 3, 2017

Lessons Learned: “Not Feasible” Could Reflect Consultant, Not Your Community Network

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/lessons-learned-not-feasible-could-reflect-consultant-not-your-community-network/

To be fair, “not feasible” could also mean that you are asking the wrong questions. Nothing rules out that the problem lies with both the consultant AND the questions. It’s hard to tell from the outside which of these factors dominates. An Incomplete Path For years, Iowa’s Decorah has been considering a municipal fiber network and… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Sep 27, 2017

Verizon Will Cut Off Rural Subscribers In Thirteen States, You Listening FCC?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/verizon-will-cut-off-rural-subscribers-in-thirteen-states-you-listening-fcc/

A recent proposal being considered by the FCC that has raised the loudest outcry has been the status of mobile broadband in rural areas. Now that Verizon is discontinuing rural subscriber accounts, the FCC will be able to see those concerns come to life. Dear John… The company has decided to cut service to scores of customers in… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 30, 2017

Rural Solar At Risk As Co-ops Push for Less Oversight

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/rural-solar-at-risk-as-co-ops-push-for-less-oversight/

Minnesota’s governor recently vetoed anti-renewables legislation that threatens rural solar development, but the bill’s likely resurgence means the state remains among a growing crop of Midwestern states facing the prospect of heavy-handed limitations on solar growth. The Minnesota legislation would have exempted rural electric cooperatives from all oversight of distributed generation policy by state regulators,… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 15, 2017

Video: A Solar Leader Emerges in Rural Iowa

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/video-solar-rural-iowa/

It seems counter-intuitive that a conservative farming community in southeastern Iowa is home to some of the most expansive solar generation in the U.S. But that’s exactly what’s happening in the area served by Farmers Electric Cooperative, the rural utility whose enterprising leader, Warren McKenna, saw renewables as a gateway to economic vitality. Last summer,… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Feb 3, 2017

Thanks to Co-op, Small Iowa Town Goes Big On Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/thanks-to-co-op-small-iowa-town-goes-big-on-solar/

It’s hard to imagine a place more bucolic than the rural farming communities clustered around Kalona, Iowa — the kind of place that for generations has embodied conservative, blue-collar values woven throughout rural America. Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Oct 6, 2016

Mediacom Lawyers Slow Internet Competition With Court Time, Resources

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mediacom-lawyers-slow-internet-competition-with-court-time-resources/

When big corporate incumbent providers fear a hint of competition from a new entrant, they pull out all the stops to quash any potential threat. One of the first lines of offense involves the courts. Iowa City now leases its fiber to Cedar Rapids based ImOn and to stop it, Mediacom is reprocessing an old… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 28, 2016

Northeast Iowa’s Winneshiek Energy District Shows How Communities Can Capture Local Energy Dollars – Episode 35 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/northeast-iowas-winneshiek-energy-district-shows-how-communities-can-capture-local-energy-dollars-episode-35-of-local-energy-rules/

In the follow-up from our new community-owned renewable energy report, Beyond Sharing: How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power, we are releasing the second in a series of Local Energy Rules podcasts that informed the writing of this report. Andy Johnson works with the soil. When younger, he served in Peace Corps in Central America for three… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Sep 15, 2015

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of September 14, 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-week-of-september-14th-2015/

This week in Democratic Energy: Ohio groundswell gathers around reinstatement of renewable energy mandates. Utah group condemns utility’s false claims to promoting renewable energy Vox’s David Roberts, in a 2-part series, seeks to break down the dominance of 20th century style electric utilities. Featured Stories: The Federal Solar Tax Credit extension: can we win if… Continue reading