Small town snippets: Rural housing, healthcare changes; agriculture education

Populations in western Kansas have been declining. However, a revised definition of “rural” in the new Farm Bill may help to revive the housing market in these areas due to the availability of USDA home loans.

A rural Kansas school faced impending closure until it decided to take a new approach to its curriculum. The Walton Rural Life Center adopted an agriculture-based curriculum and has seen an increase in enrollment since the curriculum’s inception in 2007.

A bill which would allow increased flexibility for outpatient services in small hospitals passed the Senate on Feb. 10. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Moran, R-KS, prevents enforcement of the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.