West Sacramento, Calif. – Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) staff writer, Elizabeth Zach, has been named as a Western Enterprise


Reporting Fellow by the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. The fellowship program is designed to spur new reporting on Western topics and Zach will be researching and writing on the growing number of women operating farms and ranches in the West.

Zach regularly researches and writes about issues important to rural communities for RCAC.

“While reading a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on the 2014 Farm Bill, I came across a brief mention of the fact that during the past three decades, the number of farms operated by women has increased substantially in the American West and across the nation,” she said. “My curiosity about these women sparked my interest in learning more about the circumstances behind these numbers.”

The fellowship provides a residence at Stanford that gives working reporters time and resources to explore a topic in depth.

“We are excited that Elizabeth will be working to put a face on an interesting economic, social, and demographic trend,” said Geoff McGhee, Creative Director of Media and Communications at the Bill Lane Center. “We hope she will be able to work with researchers at Stanford and other organizations to explore the big picture data that places this story in context.”

RCAC is a nonprofit organization that provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, RCAC serves rural communities in the western United States and the Pacific islands. RCAC has strong core services and expertise in housing, environmental infrastructure (water, wastewater and solid waste), leadership training, economic development and financing. To find out more about RCAC, visit www.rcac.org.