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NEWS RELEASE ARCHIVE
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2009 Press Releases


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NEWS RELEASE - August 27, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More information Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-343; ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Drought Spurs Interest in Grass Management
By Mark Parker

Getting to know your pastures better is the critical first step toward more profitable grazing, especially when drought slashes forage supplies, according to a nationally known grazing expert.

Speaking to Kansas farmers and ranchers recently, Jim Gerrish noted that each farm and ranch has unique resources. Matching grazing animals to forage resources is far more cost effective than adapting pastures to fit a certain class of grazing animal and it’s particularly critical during a drought, the Idaho-based grazier and consultant said.

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NEWS RELEASE - August 15, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More information Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-343; ksrc@rainbowtel.net

LIVESTOCK WATER AND FENCING WORKSHOP SET FOR SEPTEMBER 11

A workshop on electric fencing and livestock watering options will be held September 11, 2012, near Jamestown, Ks. in Republic County. The workshop will be held at the Jamestown Log Cabin Retreat and Dale Strickler Farm, 250 Xavier Road, Jamestown, Ks. (south of Courtland). It will begin at 8:30 a.m. and last until 4 p.m. utilizing indoor workshop and outdoor classroom for demonstrations. Lunch will be provided courtesy of Star Seed.

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NEWS RELEASE - August 14, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More information Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-343; ksrc@rainbowtel.net
Or Contact Jason Schmidt, KRC, 316-461-3243, jason.rylan.schmidt@gmail.com

EASTERN KANSAS SEPTEMBER GRAZING SCHOOL TAKING REGISTRATIONS

Emporia, KS – Farmers and ranchers are invited to participate in the third annual Eastern Kansas Grazing School at the Lyon County Fairgrounds in Emporia on September 12 – 13, 2012. The two-day management intensive grazing (MIG) school will be a hands-on learning experience preparing participants to start their own rotational grazing system with forages adapted to eastern Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE - August 14, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More information Contact: Joanna Voigt, workshop coordinator, joannarvoigt@gmail.com

STRATEGIC MARKETING WORKSHOP AND FARM TOUR
TO FEATURE PROFIT-ENHANCING TACTICS FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS

Whiting, Kansas – Livestock producers and wholesale buyers of animal products are invited to attend a Strategic Marketing Workshop and Farm Tour on September 21, 2012, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The workshop will be held at American Legion Post 76, 506 Washington Street, Concordia, KS, and the farm tour will follow at Lazy S Farms, 616 N. 1000th Road, Glasco, Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE - June 25, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More information Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-343; ksrc@rainbowtel.net
or Jason Schmidt, 316-461-3243, jason.rylan.schmidt@gmail.com

EASTERN KANSAS SEPTEMBER GRAZING SCHOOL TAKING REGISTRATIONS

Emporia, KS – Farmers and ranchers are invited to participate in the third annual Eastern Kansas Grazing School at the Lyon County Fairgrounds in Emporia on September 12 & 13. The two-day management intensive grazing (MIG) school will be a hands-on learning experience preparing participants to start their own rotational grazing system with forages adapted to eastern Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE - July 11, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More information Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-343; ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Jim Gerrish Grazing Schools Set for August in Topeka and Hays

Jim Gerrish, well-known Idaho rancher, researcher, grazing educator, author and co-founder of the Missouri Grazing School, will deliver two 2-day workshops in Topeka and Hays, Kansas in August. Each workshop will be tailored for the grasses, forages, rainfall, growing conditions and grazing potential in that area of the state.

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NEWS RELEASE - May 23, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net
OR Roberta Spencer, Jackson County Conservation District
785-364-4638 ext. 136 roberta.spencer@ks.nacdnet.net

JUNE 8 FIELD DAY IN JACKSON COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS
COVER CROPS, ALTERNATIVE FORAGES, AND WILDLIFE HABITAT

Cover Crops/Pollinators/Plant ID and More is the emphasis of the June 8th field day hosted by the Jackson County Conservation District. Tour starts at 9 a.m. with coffee and donuts at Henry Hill’s pasture located three miles north of Holton on Hwy 75 and 2-1/2 miles east on 254th Road.

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NEWS RELEASE - March 20, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Livestock Producer Meetings to be Held April 2 in Linn and Marysville, Ks

Livestock producers in the Milford and Tuttle Creek Watersheds are invited to attend one of two meetings that will focus on Best Management Practices (BMPs) for livestock operations.

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NEWS RELEASE - March 19, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

The circle of farming: cover crops a good step toward soil health
By Tom Parker

Emporia farmer Gail Fuller’s advice for ranchers and farmers seeking to improve air, water and soil quality while increasing crop yield, livestock health and financial investments is simple: take a hike.

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NEWS RELEASE - March 6, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Farm tour highlights improvements for winter livestock feeding options
By Tom Parker

When Harry Moser first heard K-State Watershed Specialist Will Boyer’s glowing reports on the benefits of feeder pads, he wasn’t impressed. “I thought he was nuts,” Moser said.

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NEWS RELEASE - February 15, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Pottawatomie County February 28 Tour to Highlight
Winter-Feeding Practices and Local Cost-Share Program

On Tuesday February 28, the Middle Kansas WRAPS Program will sponsor a tour of two area farms featuring practices they have implemented to improve livestock winter -feeding areas and improve water quality. Glenn and Jennifer Brunkow, Westmoreland, and Harry and Lisa Moser, Wheaton, will host the tour.

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NEWS RELEASE - February 3, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information Contact:
Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net  

Kansas Rural Center Announces 2012 Savor the Season program

Kansas farms and farmers markets looking to attract more customers with fresh fruits and vegetables this summer will have a new tool thanks to the Kansas Rural Center's "Savor the Season" Program, featuring a variety of materials, recipes, and grower training information about 10 feature crops for this year.

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NEWS RELEASE - February 2, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information Contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Planning can mitigate drought effect
by Mark Parker

It’s true, you can’t do much about the weather but you can do something about its impact on your grazing system.
That was the consensus message from a full slate of experts at the Kansas Graziers Association Winter Conference, “Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch,” Jan. 21 in Emporia.

Presented by the National Drought Mitigation Center, the in-depth workshop examined the effects of drought on forage systems as well as strategies to lessen that impact.

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NEWS RELEASE - December 20, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More information, contact: Mary Howell, 785-562-8726 or e-mail marshallcofair@gmail.com

Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch-- KGA 2012 Conference Set for January 21

The Kansas Graziers Association (KGA) and the Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition are co-sponsoring an all day conference, "Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch," presented by the National Drought Mitigation Center, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The conference will be held Saturday, January 21 at the Harvest House Meeting Room of the Flint Hills Christian Church, 1836 E. U.S. Highway 50 in Emporia, Ks. This is the KGA’s annual winter conference.

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NEWS RELEASE - November 29, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rethinking food production with an eye to the future
By Mark Parker

Agriculture is a fast-moving train and no one knows exactly what’s up around the bend. For Dan Nagengast, reconnecting food production with food consumption is critical to keeping that train on the track.

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NEWS RELEASE - November 29, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sustainable Ag Conference panel takes aim at America’s food system
By Mark Parker

When it comes to making the American food system more diversified, sustainable and family farm friendly, “Happy talk doesn’t get it done,” according to Mike Callicrate, an independent cattleman, entrepreneur and political activist who was part of a panel discussion at the Kansas Rural Center’s recent Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Emporia.

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NEWS RELEASE - November 22, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Livestock Management Workshop: Improvements Don’t Have to Be Expensive
By Connie Pantle

“Cows have four legs and a rumen for a reason,” Dale Kirkham, field organizer with the Kansas Rural Center, said. “They are not adapted to standing in the mud or with their head in a hay ring.”

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NEWS RELEASE - November 14, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more Information, Contact:
Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Kansas Rural Center Announces New Executive Director, Julie Mettenburg

Whiting, Ks. - The Kansas Rural Center Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Julie Mettenburg, Lawrence, Ks., will be joining KRC as the new Executive Director, starting December 1, 2011.

“We are very happy to announce Julie Mettenburg as our new Executive Director,” stated Laura Fortmeyer, Fairview, KRC co-president. “KRC’s board and staff spent many hours in careful deliberation to select the next director. Julie’s credentials and experience, her love for Kansas, and above all her passion for the KRC mission, stood out. We look forward to her new energy and leadership as KRC continues its mission of promoting the long-term health of the land and its people.”

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NEWS RELEASE - November 15, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more Information, Contact:
Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Conservation is an On-going Effort:
Stuenkel Tour Highlights Multiple Practices and Projects

By Tom Parker

“I’m not sure we’re going to beat the rain,” Lucinda Steunkel said.

Light bled from the sky as clouds thickened into a solid gray mass. An icy wind gusted from the south as 34 visitors piled into an open-air trailer, bundled in jackets, slickers, ponchos and heavy coats. As the trailer pulled away from the yard to begin its journey through Lucinda and Sheila Steunkel’s farm on the Washington-Clay County border, the first drops of water pelted the group.

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NEWS RELEASE - October 18, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More information contact:
Julie Mettenburg, Conference Coordinator, conference.krc@gmail.com or 785-749-1031
OR Mary Fund, KRC Interim Executive Director, ksrc@rainbowtel.net or 785-873-3431

Kansas Rural Center 2011 Sustainable Agriculture Conference
to Highlight Opportunities and Outlook for Food and Farming in Kansas

Whiting, Kansas -- The Kansas Rural Center announces that its 2011 Sustainable Agriculture Conference will focus on food and farm opportunities and the optimism for expanding local and regional food and farming in Kansas. The conference, titled “Options, Opportunities and Optimism: Cultivating Our Food and Farm Future,” will take place Saturday, November 19, from 9 to 5 p.m. at Flint Hills Technical College, Emporia.

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NEWS RELEASE - September 26, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Mary Fund at 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Grazing cattle best for pastures, water quality and calf health

By Tom Parker

Belleville, Ks. - Dale Kirkham believes that the quality of air, water, grasslands, pastures and cattle would improve if more ranchers adopted a keep-it-simple attitude and returned to the basics. The basics in this case being an elementary law of bovine anatomy: cows have legs. Four of them, to be exact, and cows, as well as everything associated with cows, are better off when those four legs are moving.

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NEWS RELEASE - September 16, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Mary Fund at 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

GRAZING SCHOOL DELIVERS GRASSROOTS EDUCATION
By Mark Parker

Learning the art and science of grazing livestock is a lifetime quest but sometimes the comprehension curve gets a big boost.

The Eastern Kansas Grazing School provided that opportunity as farmers and ranchers tapped into wide-ranging expertise in a two-day learning experience held recently at Holton and sponsored by the Kansas Rural Center, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Kansas State University Extension.

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NEWS RELEASE - August 26, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Mary Fund at 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net

GERRISH SHARES GRAZING EXPERTISE WITH KANSAS PRODUCERS AT BEEF FEST
By Mark Parker

Emporia, Ks.- When Jim Gerrish looks at a pasture, he sees a giant solar panel harvesting sunlight to grow forage for grazing animals.

“If you think of every acre you manage as a 43,560-square foot solar panel, you’ll begin to see how you can improve your operation,” the nationally known grazing expert told more that 130 people at the recent Flint Hills Beef Fest in Emporia, Kan.

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NEWS RELEASE - June 11, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Mary Howell at 785-562-8726 or kfu.mary@gmail.com

Jim Gerrish to Speak on Grazing in Five Kansas Communities during August

Whiting, Ks.- Jim Gerrish, well known Idaho rancher, researcher, grazing educator and co-founder of the Missouri Grazing School will deliver five workshops across Kansas in August. Each presentation will be tailor made for the grasses, forages, rainfall, growing conditions and grazing potential in that area of the state. Topics to be covered include: Getting the Most from Your Pastures, Building a Better Solar Panel, Kick the Hay Habit, and Grazing System Design.

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NEWS RELEASE - June 10, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EASTERN KANSAS GRAZING SCHOOL SET FOR SEPTEMBER 7-8, 2011 IN HOLTON

Whiting, Ks.- Farmers and ranchers are invited to participate in the second annual Eastern Kansas Grazing School at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Holton on September 7 & 8. The two-day management intensive grazing (MIG) school will be a hands-on learning experience preparing participants to start their own rotational grazing system with forages adapted to eastern Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE - June 10, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KRC Announces Kohlmeier as New Field Organizer

Whiting, Ks. – The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) is pleased to announce that Lyle Kohlmeier, Strong City, Kansas, has joined KRC as its newest Field Organizer in the Clean Water Farms/WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy) Project.

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NEWS RELEASE - May 12, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mary Fund, KRC, 785-873-3431; ksrc@rainbowtel.net

Nagengast to Step Down as KRC Executive Director

Whiting, Ks.- Kansas Rural Center (KRC) Executive Director Dan Nagengast has announced his plans to leave KRC by mid-summer this year. Nagengast has been Executive Director since 1992.

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NEWS RELEASE - April 13, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mary Fund, KRC, 785-873-3431; ksrc@rainbowtel.net

FOOD SAFETY AND GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES OUTLINED AT WORKSHOP:
Making It Work on a Real Farm
by Connie Pantle


Lawrence, Kans.—“Food safety is not just a legal responsibility—it is a moral and ethical obligation,” said Chris Blanchard, the keynote speaker at a recent workshop in Lawrence. The workshop, “Post-Harvest Handling, Food Safety & GAPs: Making It Work on a Real Farm”, was hosted by the Kansas Rural Center and K-State Research and Extension in Douglas County.

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NEWS RELEASE - March 21, 2011

LOW COST TIPS FOR LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT
By Connie Pantle

Tonganoxie, Kans.—“As cattlemen, we probably spoil our cattle—they have four legs and a rumen for a reason,” stated Dale Kirkham, field organizer with the Kansas Rural Center (KRC) at a recent livestock management workshop in Tonganoxie. Kirkham explained that cattle “should work for us instead of us working for them.”

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NEWS RELEASE - March 16, 2011

UPCOMING WORKSHOP ADDRESSES ON-FARM FOOD SAFETY
FOR FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRODUCERS

Lawrence, Kan. - As the demand for local and organic food grows nationwide, so does the expectation of consumers and institutional buyers for clean produce that lasts on the shelf and in the refrigerator. On March 30, 2011, the Kansas Rural Center and K-State Research and Extension in Douglas County will co-host a full-day workshop to address issues surrounding on-farm food safety and handling. Chris Blanchard, owner of Rock Spring Farm near Decorah, Iowa, is the keynote speaker.

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NEWS RELEASE - February 24, 2011

IMPROVING WINTER MANAGEMENT CAN IMPROVE HERD AND CALF HEALTH
Baby Calf Health Directly Linked to Clean Calving Environment

Hanover, Ks. - Improving winter-feeding conditions, reducing winter-feed costs, and maintaining herd health, especially at calving time, were topics at the recent “Improving Livestock Production Workshop” in Hanover. Thirty-nine people gathered at the Kloppenberg Community Center for the workshop sponsored by the Tuttle Creek WRAPS to learn more about how to improve herd productivity and profitability.

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NEWS RELEASE - February 21, 2011

BETTER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TURN INTO MULTIPLE BENEFITS
Producers Can Improve Herd Health, and Bottom Line Whille Protecting Water Quality

Highland, Kansas—Livestock producers gathered in Highland for a one-day livestock and water quality workshop last week. The workshop—organized by the Missouri WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy)—focused on ways producers can implement best management practices (BMPs) while making their operation more profitable.

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NEWS RELEASE - February 16, 2011

LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP SET FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 10
AT THE LEAVENWORTH COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

Tonganoxie - Mark your calendar for Thursday, March 10, when the Leavenworth County Conservation District and the Kansas Rural Center will host a Livestock Management Workshop for livestock producers in the Stranger Creek watershed and surrounding areas.

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NEWS RELEASE - January 27, 2011

Improving Livestock Production in Tuttle Creek Watershed Set
for Hanover February 17

Whiting, Ks.- On Thursday February 17, 2011, a dinner meeting will be held for livestock producers in the Tuttle Creek Watershed area in Washington and Marshall Counties to discuss best management practices (BMP) and cost-share programs to better manage winter feeding sites for profitability and natural resource protection. The meeting will be held at the Kloppenberg Community Center, 512 East North Street in Hanover, Ks., beginning at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and the program starting at 6 p.m. and running until 8:30 p.m. RSVP’s for the dinner are needed.

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NEWS RELEASE - January 20, 2011

JUDY CHALLENGES GRAZIER’S ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT MOB GRAZING
By Jason Schmidt

Junction City - About 200 graziers from across Kansas converged on Junction City for the annual Kansas Graziers Association (KGA) winter conference on Saturday, January 15. Greg Judy, the keynote speaker, runs a grazing operation near Clarks, Missouri, on 1400 acres of pasture using holistic high density planned grazing. The Judys have developed a successful grazing business by leasing land, reducing input costs, employing high density grazing, and utilizing multi-species grazing.

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NEWS RELEASE - December 16, 2010

Kansas Graziers’ Winter Conference Scheduled for January 15 in Junction City

Whiting, Ks. - The Kansas Grazier's Association (KGA) will hold its Winter Conference on Saturday January 15, 2011 at the Geary County 4H-Senior Citizen's Center at 1025 South Spring Valley Road in Junction City, Ks.

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NEWS RELEASE - November 29, 2010

Adapting to Climate Change Important for Kansas Farmers and Ranchers
By Mark Parker

Climate change is far less a threat to ecosystems than it is to the humans who rely upon them, according to USDA Natural Resource and Conservation Service rangeland ecologist Joel Brown.

Speaking to about 150 people at a sustainable agriculture conference in Emporia sponsored by the Kansas Rural Center, Brown said the debate is over as to whether or not climate change is occurring. Arguments about cause and effect and scientific methodology can continue, he said, but there is no doubt that the planet is warmer — and getting warmer still.

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NEWS RELEASE - November 29, 2010

Experts Weigh In on Climate Change
By Mark Parker

The impact of climate change on agriculture was brought into focus recently as experts discussed the topic at the Connecting Cows, Carbon & Carrots conference, sponsored by the Kansas Rural Center, that brought 150 people to Emporia, Kansas.

In a panel discussion, Region VII EPA Director Karl Brooks, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Policy Analyst Jeff Schahczenski, and USDA-NRCS Rangeland Ecologist Joel Brown shared their views on climate change issues.

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NEWS RELEASE - October 22, 2010

Rejuvenating Landscapes Through Managing Livestock Behavior:
Animal Behavior Specialist Fred Provenza Provides Tips
By Jason Schmidt, Kansas Rural Center

Holton, Ks. - “Palatability is more than a matter of taste,” challenged Fred Provenza to the audience at the Livestock Behavior-based Management Workshop in Holton, KS on September 25. Provenza, who is an Animal Behavior specialist with Utah State University, spent the day giving wisdom on how to manage animals to rejuvenate landscapes while also meeting the nutritional needs of the animals. Palatability is directly connected to the body’s feedback to meet the need for energy, protein, and various minerals as well as to self-medicate to treat maladies that Provenza has labeled the “Wisdom of the Body.” This concept of the “Wisdom of the Body” has implications for managing and manipulating animal’s diets and grazing behavior to eat undesirable plant species while avoiding other desirable plant species.

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NEWS RELEASE - October 14, 2010

KRC To Hold Sustainable Agriculture Conference November 20
“Connecting Cows, Carbon and Carrots: Making Sense of Our Food Future”

Whiting, Ks. – The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) will hold its Sustainable Agriculture Conference on Saturday, November 20, 2010, at the Flint Hills Technical College, Emporia, Kansas. The theme for this year’s conference is “Connecting Cows, Carbon and Carrots: Making Sense of Our Food Future”.

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NEWS RELEASE - October 11, 2010

Nature provides pasture strategy worth copying
By Mark Parker

The way Oren Long sees it, the native prairie is a pretty darn good model for tame pasture management. The Valley Falls, Kan., farmer has developed a self-generating, self-regulating system that lets “Mother Nature and the cows do the work and you do the thinking.”

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NEWS RELEASE - October 11, 2010

Delaware Watershed Tour Showcases Practices to Improve Water Quality
By Connie Pantle

Whiting, Ks.—Heavy rain may have altered a recent tour of the Delaware River watershed, however the relevance of implementing practices to protect water quality was front and center throughout the day. Two days before the tour, a portion of the upper watershed received five to seven inches of rain, causing the Delaware River to rise and even flood in some areas. Funded by a grant to the Jackson County Conservation District by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the tour was part of efforts to inform the public about management practices being implemented to protect water quality and reduce sedimentation into Perry Reservoir.

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NEWS RELEASE - October 7, 2010

Grazing school delivers profit-enhancing lessons
By Mark Parker

The cattle business is no place to be below average. In 2009, there was a $357 per cow difference in net return between top-third Kansas producers and those in the bottom third. Higher costs were the 800-lb. gorilla in the pasture for the least profitable operations and, among those, feed expense took a King Kong-size bite out of profits.

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NEWS RELEASE - September 7, 2010

Exodus of rural youth puts communities in jeopardy
By Mark Parker

Soldier, Kansas - The precious national resource that is rural America is in peril and Weldon Sleight is trying to do something about it. It’s not the grass-covered hillsides, nor the cornfields, nor those amber waves of grain that the dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is most concerned with — it is the young people born and raised out beyond the city limits sign.

“We can ride it out until it’s all gone or we can do something about it,” Sleight told Kansas Rural Center board members and their guests recently at Soldier, Kan. “Somehow, rural folks have to stand up and say we are not going to lose our kids to the city any longer.”

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NEWS RELEASE - August 18, 2010

Rural Development and the Next Generation Topic of August 28 Meeting

Whiting, Ks.- Rural development and how to engage the next generation in farming, ranching, and rural communities will be the topic for the keynote speaker at a special presentation during the Kansas Rural Center’s summer board meeting on August 28. Weldon Sleight, dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis, Nebraska, will be the afternoon speaker starting at 1:30 p.m. at Red Rock Guest Ranch near Soldier, Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE - July 8, 2010  

The meat of the matter:
Growing farm profits means cultivating business model

By Mark Parker

Soldier, Kansas--Meat producers who have broken away from the commodity herd are headed down a trail that can lead to profitability—as long as financial savvy guides their efforts. Addressing more than 30 family farmers from across eastern Kansas recently, Jim Munsch advised growers to begin by identifying who their customers are and what they want. The Wisconsin organic beef producer and business consultant led the recent Growing Your Farm Profits workshop presented by the Kansas Rural Center near Soldier, Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE - June 18, 2010

USDA Moves to Restore Competitive Markets and
Contract Fairness in Livestock and Poultry Markets

Washington, D.C. June 18, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture released new rules today that propose a host of reforms necessary to help restore competitive markets and contract fairness to livestock and poultry markets. The new rules directed by the 2008 Farm Bill, promise to outlaw preferential pricing, expand producer rights to sue over unfair and deceptive practices and compel greater contract fairness for poultry producers.

Under the proposed rules, independent family farmers who meet the same quality standards as mega feedlots must be paid the same price. Those standards must be transparent and made publicly available.

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NEWS RELEASE - May 1, 2010

KANSAS RURAL CENTER JOINS PUBLIC TV PANEL ON “FOOD INC.” ON MAY 5

On Wednesday May 5, tune in to your local public television station in Kansas to see an evening devoted to the film “Food Inc” and a panel of Kansas agricultural leaders responding to the film.

The panel, “Taking Stock: Perspectives on Food Production in Kansas”, features Kansas agricultural leaders including the Kansas Rural Center’s Executive Director Dan Nagengast, responding to “Food Inc.” which took on corporate/industrial agriculture and the food system.

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NEWS RELEASE - April 22, 2010

INCREASING HERD PERFORMANCE AND HEALTH HELPS BOTTOM LINE AND ENVIRONMENT
By Connie Pantle

Frankfort, Kansas—“Here in Eastern Kansas, we’re blessed with the amount of forages we can grow—and we have to work to select the forages we can use,” explained Gary Kilgore, Professor Emeritus, Kansas State University, at a recent “Improving Livestock Production Workshop” workshop in Frankfort.

“Match the system to the animal,” he said.  “Your goal as a livestock person is to match the requirements of the animal to the available forage.” 

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NEWS RELEASE - April 20, 2010

Kansas Rural Center, Kansas Department of Commerce
to host agriculture marketing workshops

Sessions to be held in Dodge City, Marysville, Independence, Lawrence, Newton

The Kansas Rural Center and the Kansas Department of Commerce will host a series of five direct marketing workshops for agricultural producers beginning April 27 throughout Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE - April 6, 2010

Farmers Urged to Talk Over Options for Expiring CRP Ground

Holton, Kansas—Speakers at the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) informational meetings held in Holton and Seneca Kansas in early March agreed on one thing: farmers with expiring CRP ground need to talk over their options with FSA and County Conservation District offices before they make decisions. “We want to talk to you” was the message from FSA speakers, county conservation district staff, fish and wildlife specialists, and watershed representatives.

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NEWS RELEASE - April 6, 2010

Proper Management of Riparian Areas Provides Multiple Functions

Eskridge, Kansas – About 33 landowners and ranchers attended the riparian workshop organized by the Flint Hills RC&D and Wabaunsee County Extension, on March 25 to learn how to better manage ponds, creeks and woodlands. Themes for the evening included introducing basic concepts of riparian areas and stream hydrology, forestry management, rangeland riparian management, streambank stabilization, and funding opportunities for rangeland improvement.

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NEWS RELEASE - March 16, 2010

WORKSHOP IN FRANKFORT HIGHLIGHTS IDEAS TO IMPROVE LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION

Frankfort, Kansas— A “Improving Livestock Production” workshop will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 pm on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at the Cigna Center, 402 North Maple, Frankfort. Registration begins at 5 pm.

“This workshop will allow livestock producers the opportunity to gather information on management practices such as extending the grazing season with alternative forages; herd health issues related to calving, and alternative watering systems—all of which can assist in improving their livestock operation’s bottom line as well as protecting water quality,” Mary Howell, Clean Water Farms Project Field Organizer with the Kansas Rural Center, said.

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NEWS RELEASE - March 8, 2010

WORKSHOP IN TONGANOXIE HIGHLIGHTS BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR WINTER FEEDING AREAS

Tonganoxie, Kansas—“Are you raising cattle for pleasure or profit…or both?” Dale Kirkham, Field Organizer with the Kansas Rural Center’s Clean Water Farms Project, posed this question to those attending a “Best Management Practices for Winter Feeding Areas” workshop in Tonganoxie in mid-February. “If you are in it for pleasure—you are not going to be in it for long,” he said.

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NEWS RELEASE - March 1, 2010

The 4M’s of Market Management Shared at Farmers’ Market Conference

Topeka - Keeping an eye on the 4Ms of market management–mission, management, marketing and measurement–allows farmers markets to grow and thrive in a sustainable fashion.

Demand for local foods and for markets has rapidly increased in the past four years, so much so that farmers and markets are challenged to keep up with requests to expand. With few resources, both in terms of finances and staff time, markets should approach each new venture with a critical eye.

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NEWS RELEASE - February 17, 2010

Farmers markets a growing opportunity
By Mark Parker

Emporia, Kansas - Cultivating a growing opportunity for farmers requires the cooperation of communities, policy makers and the growers themselves, according to a national authority on farmers markets.

Speaking to producers at the recent Kansas Farmers Markets Conference in Emporia, Don Wambles, past president of the nationwide grassroots organization, the Farmers Market Coalition, called farmers markets “a bright spot for American agriculture.” As a mechanism for bringing wholesome, locally grown food to the public, farmers markets benefit consumers and communities as well as the folks who grow the food, he said.

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NEWS RELEASE - February 16, 2010

LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT & PROFITABILITY WORKSHOP PROVIDES ANSWERS
TO LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS’ QUESTIONS

Highland, Kansas—Fighting through the fog and a brief power outage, 43 livestock producers and agency representatives gathered at the Highland Community Center in Highland for a livestock management and profitability workshop in mid-January. The workshop, coordinated by the Missouri River Basin WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy), provided farmers and ranchers an opportunity to gather information on practices that will improve the profitability of their livestock operation while protecting water quality.

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NEWS RELEASE - February 9, 2010

FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR KANSAS FARMERS FOR ORGANIC TRANSITION PRACTICES;
INCLUDES HOOP HOUSE COST-SHARE FUNDS

Whiting, Ks.- March 12, 2010 is the deadline for signing up for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) 2010 Organic and Transition to Organic Special Initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

Kansas has received $1,416,186 for this initiative in 2010. The initiative can provide up to $20,000 per year for no more than $80,000 over a six year period to assist farmers and ranchers to transition to organic or to improve conservation benefits on existing organic farms. Funds not allocated in Kansas will be sent back to national headquarters for reallocation.

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NEWS RELEASE – February 3, 2010

WORKSHOP IN TONGANOXIE HIGHLIGHTS
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR WINTER FEEDING AREAS

Tonganoxie, Kansas—The Leavenworth County Conservation District and the Kansas Rural Center will host a “Best Management Practices forWinter Feeding Areas” workshop at 10 am on Thursday, February 18, 2010 at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds Administration Building, Tonganoxie. Registration begins at 9:30 am and the free workshop will conclude at approximately 2 pm.

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NEWS RELEASE - January 29, 2010

Pharo Steers Kansas Graziers Away From Sacred Cows
By Mark Parker

McPherson, Kansas- If Kit Pharo made some folks squirm in their chairs a little at the Kansas Graziers Association Winter Conference, that was okay with him. After all, getting cattlemen out of their comfort zones is one of his goals.

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NEWS RELEASE - January 29, 2010

Protecting Water has Livestock Benefits
By Mark Parker

McPherson, Kansas - Reducing the impact livestock have on Kansas water resources is one of those rare Good News-Good News scenarios.  The good news is that keeping the cows out of the water is extremely effective in maintaining and enhancing water quality. The other good news is that many of the practices used to achieve that goal are also good for beef producers’ bottom lines.

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NEWS RELEASE - December 31, 2009

MISSOURI WRAPS TO SPONSOR LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT
& PROFITABILITY WORKSHOP IN HIGHLAND

Highland, Kansas—The Missouri River Basin WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy) will host a one day workshop on livestock management and profitability at 10 am on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at the Highland Community Center, 501 West Avenue in Highland. The workshop concludes at approximately 2:30 pm.

MORE - - - Click here to download the News Release  pdf version of this news release.

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NEWS RELEASE - December 11, 2009

MUNSCH FEATURED SPEAKER AT KRC
GROWING YOUR FARM PROFITS WORKSHOP

Lawrence, Kansas—The Kansas Rural Center announces Jim Munsch at the featured speaker at its workshop “Growing Your Farm Profits: Understanding the Marketplace and Positioning Your Farm to Succeed”. The workshop is from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday, January 9 at the Lawrence Holidome Conference Center, 200 McDonald Drive, Lawrence, Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE - December 10, 2009

KANSAS GRAZIERS WINTER CONFERENCE
SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 23

Whiting, Ks.- The Kansas Graziers Association (KGA) will host its Annual Winter Grazing Conference on Saturday January 23, 2010, at the Best Western Convention Center in McPherson, Kansas. Kit Pharo, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado rancher, is the featured speaker for the day. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m. and the meeting will run until 4:00 p.m. Kit Pharo’s two-part presentation is titled “Moving from Production to Profit in Ranching.”

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NEWS RELEASE - December 6, 2009

MISSOURI WRAPS TO SPONSOR LIVESTOCK
MANAGEMENT & PROFITABILITY WORKSHOP IN HIGHLAND

Highland, Kansas—The Missouri River Basin WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy) will host a one day workshop on grazing management at 10 am on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at the Highland Community Center in Highland.

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NEWS RELEASE - October 15, 2009

BUS TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
WATERSHED PRACTICES AND PROJECTS

By Connie Pantle

Holton, Kansas—On a bright September day 35 people—including many area farmers and ranchers—boarded a bus for a tour of management practices and watershed projects throughout three northeast Kansas counties of Jackson, Nemaha and Brown counties.   The tour visited two area lakes—Banner Creek and Mission Lake—as well as four area farms belonging to: LeRoy Rieschick, Ronald Bloom, Stephen Aberle and David Zeit.

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NEWS RELEASE - September 18, 2009

Southeast Kansas Grazing School Scheduled for October 14-15, 2009

Whiting, KS – Farmers and ranchers looking to optimize their grazing resources are invited to attend a two-day grazing school, which will be held at the K-State Southeast Agricultural Research Center in Parsons, Kansas, on Wednesday, October 14 and Thursday, October 15. Presenters will cover a wide range of topics including an introduction to different grazing systems such as rotational grazing, the science behind grazing, alternative forage options for year-around grazing, economics of grazing, and fencing and watering options.

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NEWS RELEASE - September 17, 2009

Bauman Family Addresses Sustainability on Farm
By Connie Pantle, Kansas Rural Center

Garnett, Kansas—“Coopeition” was the theme at John and Yvonne Bauman’s Cedar Valley Farms Field Day in July, which was sponsored by the Kansas Rural Center’s Farmer-Educator Program. Producers from across the state gathered to tour the family’s 180-acre diversified, organic farm and USDA-licensed poultry processing facility—which is the only on-farm facility in Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE - August 24, 2009

Management and Alternative Marketing Options Bus Tour Set for October 8

Whiting, Ks. - Thursday, October 8, 2009 the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops (KCSAAC) and the Kansas Rural Center (KRC) will host a "Management and Alternative Marketing Options" bus tour in north central Kansas. The tour will visit farms along a track from Bennington, just north of Salina to Glasco, featuring a variety of alternative cropping and livestock systems. Stops include a look at certified organic crop production, grazing management and alternative livestock watering systems, agritourism and alternative crops, and an ornamental grass nursery.

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NEWS RELEASE - August 19, 2009

Strickler to host two-day grazing event in north-central Kansas

Courtland, Kansas — Dale Strickler, a grazier from Jamestown, will conduct a two day grazing event on Thursday, September 3 and Friday, September 4.

The forage conference is from 8 am to 6:30 pm on Thursday, September 3 at the Cook Theatre, Cloud County
Community College, 2221 Campus Drive, Concordia, Kansas.

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NEWS RELEASE – July 9, 2009

Streambank Stabilization Meeting Focuses on Technical and Financial Assistance
By Connie Pantle, Kansas Rural Center

Whiting, Kansas—Landowners and producers from the Delaware River watershed gathered in Whiting on July 9 for a stream stabilization workshop.  The workshop was organized by the Delaware River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) group and Kansas Alliance of Wetlands and Streams (KAWS).

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NEWS RELEASE – July 30, 2009

JIM GERRISH FEATURED SPEAKER
AT AUGUST GRAZING WORKSHOP

Holton, Kansas—Jim Gerrish, a grazing expert from May, Idaho, will conduct a one day workshop on grazing management from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, August 15 at the Evangel United Methodist Church's Family Life Center, 227 Pennsylvania Street, Holton, Kansas. A field tour at William and Henry Hill’s Jackson County farm follows the workshop.

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NEWS RELEASE – July 10, 2009

COVER CROPS IN NO-TILL PROVIDE EXTRA BENEFITS

Jackson County, Kansas—The sight of a farmer in his corn field with a backhoe would make most heads turn… and likely shake in disbelief. But that is exactly what Henry Hill did to prepare for last week’s No-Till on the Plains’ “Whirlwind Expo” on his Jackson County farm northeast of Holton. He dug a four foot deep trench about 15 feet into his corn field so that those attending the tour could have a clear view of one of his most important assets—the soil. Henry and his father,William, have been no-till farming for about 30 years and the soil in his crop field shows the signs that Dr. Ray Ward, of Kearney, Neb., likes to see. And as a certified soil scientist with over 48 years of experience working in soil laboratories,Ward knows what he’s looking at.

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NEWS RELEASE – May 20, 2009

Kansas Farmers Markets Go High Tech

Whiting, Kans.—Along with locally-raised fruits and vegetables, shoppers will see wooden tokens and wireless-point-of-sale (WPOS) devices at many Kansas farmers markets this spring.

Because of the WPOS devices, eleven Kansas farmers markets now accept Vision Cards, the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) method for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also known as the Food Assistance Program in Kansas. Only two Kansas farmers markets accepted the Vision Cards in 2008.

The central wireless-point-of-sale system used by the Kansas Farmers Market EBT Project allows all eligible vendors in a multi-vendor farmers market to sell food products to Vision cardholders without each vendor being separately authorized by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

MORE - - - Click here for the news release.  pdf version of this news release.

Look for the "Use Your Vision Card Here" banner at farmers markets in these Kansas counties:

  • Anderson: Garnett Farmers Market, Thursday: 4:30 to 7 p.m. in downtown Garnett at 4th Ave and Main St, Vision Card only

  • Atchison: Atchison Farmers Market, Saturday: 8 a.m. to noon and Wednesday: 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in downtown Atchison between 4th & 6th on Main St, Vision and Debit Cards

  • Butler: Central Park Farmers Market, Wednesday: 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Andover's Central Park, Vision and Debit Cards

  • Douglas: Downtown Lawrence Farmers Market, Saturday: 7 to 11 a.m. at 824 New Hampshire Ave and Tuesday and Thursday: 4 to 6 p.m. at 1020 Vermont St, Vision and Debit Cards

  • Leavenworth: Leavenworth Farmers Market, Saturday: 7 to 10:30 a.m. at Esplanade and Delaware, Wednesday: 3 to 6 p.m. at 4th & Cherokee, Vision and Debit Cards

  • Lyon: Emporia Farmers Market, Saturday: 8-11 a.m. and Wednesday: 5 to 7 p.m. at 7th Ave. & Merchant St., Vision and Debit Cards

  • Marion: Hillsboro Farmers Market, Thursday: 5 to 7 p.m. in downtown Hillsboro at corner of Jefferson and Grand, Vision Card only

  • Saline: Salina Farmers Market, Saturday: 7 to 11 a.m. at 460 South Ohio, Vision and Debit Cards

  • Sedgwick: Kansas Grown Farmers Market, Saturday: 7 a.m. to noon; and Wednesday: 3 to 7 p.m. at 21st & Ridge , Tuesday: 3:00- 7:00 p.m. at 8141 East 21st, Vision and Debit Cards
    Old Town Farmers Market, Saturday: 7 a.m. to noon at 1st and Mosley, Vision and Debit Cards

  • Wyandotte: KCK Green Market, Saturday: 8 to 11 a.m. and Wednesday: 8 to 11 a.m. at 6th and Taurome, Vision and Debit Cards

For more information about the Kansas Farmers Market EBT Expansion Project contact: Mary Fund, 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net  For information on the more than 75 farmers market in Kansas, visit: www.ksfarmersmarkets.com 

FY 2008 Food Assistance Information by County:

  • Anderson: 664 participants and $665,355 annually

  • Atchison: 1,566 participants and $1,763,079 annually

  • Butler: 3,366 participants and $3,556,851 annually

  • Douglas: 5,309 participants and $6,115,048 annually

  • Leavenworth: 3,992 participants and $4,439,366 annually

  • Lyon: 2,921 participants and $3,181,433 annually

  • Marion: 420 participants and $397,787 annually

  • Saline: 3,765 participants and $3,974,908 annually

  • Sedgwick: 46,287 participants and $54,156,152 annually

  • Wyandotte: 19,379 participants and $22,776,710 annually

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NEWS RELEASE – May 13, 2009

Organic Initiative Funds Available!
New Sign up Period: May 11 - May 29

Whiting, Ks. - The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) has created a special $50 million pool of funding for a new Organic Initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The Kansas share of the nationwide $50 million is $1.5 million. The Initiative will provide payments and technical assistance to transitioning and existing organic farmers who adopt NRCS conservation practices used in organic production systems. Kansas saw an earlier sign -up but this is a new sign-up with clearer national guidelines, which will allow more farmers to participate. Any Kansas farmer who already signed up for the program should check in with their local conservation district office.

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NEWS RELEASE – May 6, 2009

Schools Selected for Wind Energy Project

Whiting, Kans.—The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) and Kansas Wind Applications Center (WAC) at Kansas State University announce the selection of five more primary and secondary schools to receive a Skystream 3.7 wind turbine as part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Wind for Schools initiative. The schools selected for this round of funding include: Colby County Community College (associated with surrounding school districts); Hope Street Academy, Topeka; Solomon School District, USD 393, Solomon; Appanoose Elementary, Franklin County, and Smoky Valley School District, USD 400, Lindsborg.

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NEWS RELEASE – March 13, 2009

KRC Commends New EQIP Organic Transition Provisions

Whiting, Ks. – The Kansas Rural Center applauds the new EQIP Organic Transition Program, which will begin offering federal financial and technical assistance to Kansas farmers and ranchers interested in transitioning to organic production methods.

The 2008 Farm Bill’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) authorizes for the first time on a nationwide basis the use of funds for transition to organic production systems.

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NEWS RELEASE – March 3, 2009

April 15 is Deadline for 2009 Wind for Schools Proposals

Whiting, Kans.—The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) and Kansas Wind Applications Center at Kansas State University announce the Request for Wind for Schools Proposals. The deadline to submit request for proposals is April 15, 2009. Five rural schools will be selected to install 1.9 kW wind turbines in order to encourage integration of renewable energy education in their K-12 science curriculum.

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For more information on the Wind for Schools project, for application criteria or for proposal format, please see the project website at http://www.eece.ksu.edu/psg/wac/. Or contact Ruth Miller at rdmiller@ksu.edu  or Dan Nagengast at dan@kansasruralcenter.org . Request for proposals should be forwarded to Ruth Miller at rdmiller@ksu.edu prior to the April 15 deadline.

The Kansas Rural Center is a non-profit organization promoting sustainable agriculture and resource use, working in collaboration with Kansas State University and the National Renewable Laboratory’s Wind Energy Project.

Click here for the news release.  The criteria for proposals (for interested school administrators)
See also the KRC Wind Projects web page for information about the program and location of past recipients.

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NEWS RELEASE - January 22, 2009

Sustainable grazing systems benefit environment and producer pocketbooks
by Mark Parker

For Terry Gompert, partnering with nature to provide livestock grazing solutions means good stewardship and social responsibility as well as optimizing profitability.

MORE - - -  Click here for the news release.  pdf version of this news release.

To review Gompert’s slides, please see the Kansas Rural Center’s website.

The KGA conference was co-sponsored by the KGA; Kansas Rural Center; the Central Kansas District of K-State Research and Extension, and the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops.

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NEWS RELEASE - January 20, 2009

Statewide Farmers’ Market Conference Scheduled for February 23

Topeka, Kans.— The Kansas Rural Center announces the statewide Farmers’ Market Conference which is scheduled from 9 am to 4 pm on Monday, February 23 at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library at 1515 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka, Kansas.

Mercedes Taylor-Puckett, KRC’s Farmers’ Market Project Coordinator, said the “bigger and better” 2009 conference is titled "Growing Together" and is open to all involved with farmers’ markets whether as a producer, market manager, board member or interested citizen.

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NEWS RELEASE - January 5, 2009

Grazing Management Benefits Resources and Bottom-Line
by Mark Parker

Emporia, Ks.- The same grazing management techniques that increase efficiency and enhance productivity can also have a positive impact on water and forage resources. That was the take-home message from a grazing workshop held recently in Emporia, Kansas where Dale Kirkham of the Kansas Rural Center challenged producers to “create a positive impact every time you go to the pasture.”

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NEWS RELEASE - December 22, 2008

Kansas Graziers’ Association Annual Winter Conference Set for January 17

Assaria, Kans.—The Kansas Graziers’ Association (KGA) Annual Winter Grazing Conference will be held Saturday, January 17, 2009 in Assaria, Kansas from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The featured speaker for the day is Terry Gompert, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Grazing Educator.

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NEWS RELEASE - November 11, 2008

Public Hearing to be Held on Controversial Dairy Labeling Rules:
Label Claims for Non-rBGH Dairy Products Banned

Whiting, KS. - On December 2, the Kansas State Department of Agriculture (KDA) will hold a public hearing on a proposed rule that would ban milk or dairy products carrying labels such as “rBGH -free”, or “rBST free”, or “no artificial hormones”, and establish rules for labeling such dairy products.

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NEWS RELEASE - November 11, 2008

Meeting Agriculture’s Challenges in A Rapidly Changing World
Theme of KRC December 13 Conference

Whiting, KS - The Kansas Rural Center will hold its annual sustainable agriculture conference Saturday December 13, 2008 with the theme “Meeting Agriculture’s Challenges in a Rapidly Changing World”. The one day conference will be held at St. Monica-St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 1007 East Avenue, Blue Rapids, Kansas beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m.

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 NEWS RELEASE - October 11, 2008

Tour Sponsored by the Middle Kansas WRAPS Highlights
Best Management Practices on Area Farms

Jackson County, Kans.—Best Management Practices, also known as BMPs, are a simple and inexpensive way to protect water quality on a farm or ranch. Roberta Spencer with the Jackson County Conservation District and the Kansas Rural Center’s Mary Howell, Clean Water Farms Field Organizer, partnered with the Middle Kansas WRAPS (Watershed and Restoration Strategy) working group to organize a tour that highlights BMPs in the area.

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NEWS RELEASE - September 9, 2008

KRC ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR NURTURING COMMUNITIES
THROUGH LOCAL FOODS NETWORKS

Lawrence, Kansas— KRC is pleased to announce a funding award from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (JFCGP) of New York and Tokyo for a project entitled NURTURING COMMUNITIES THROUGH LOCAL FOODS NETWORKS.

The project seeks to develop innovative responses to problems in modern food systems through cross-cultural dialogues between farmers, NGOs, and policy makers in two agricultural heartlands: the Kansas River Valley, centered in Douglas County, Kansas, and Saitama Prefecture in Japan (northwest of Tokyo). Facilitating the project in Japan is IFOAM Japan (Association of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements members in Japan).

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NEWS RELEASE - September 8, 2008

Clean Water Farm-River Friendly Farm Project Secures Funding

Whiting, Ks. - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) notified the Kansas Rural Center of continued funding of the Clean Water Farm-River Friendly Farm Project (CWF-RFFP). The funding comes from U.S. EPA’s Section 319 Grant Funds and is administered by KDHE.

Currently, the CWF-RFFP is in year 4 of a 4-year grant from KDHE, which will end in March 2009. The newly approved funds are part of KDHE’s new funding process built around WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy) watersheds, using EPA 319 funds and state water plan funds to address agriculture related water quality issues in key watersheds around the state. KRC will receive EPA 319 funds to work within up to 18 specific WRAPS watersheds from early 2009 into early 2010.

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Cropping Systems Workshop and Farm Tour Set for October 2

Whiting, Ks. - Cover crops, long-term legume based crop rotations, and organic or “natural” production practices are useful management strategies for improving a farm’s profits while offering conservation benefits. These practices and others can reduce purchased input use, erosion, and agricultural chemical runoff, and can also provide unique market opportunities.

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NEWS RELEASE - August 11, 2008

FEDDEMA AND JACKSON TO SPEAK AT KRC SUMMER BOARD MEETING

Whiting, Kans.—The Kansas Rural Center announces the program for its annual summer board meeting. The meeting, which focuses on Climate Change and Renewable Energy with a specific emphasis on those issues in Kansas, is at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 23, at Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont Street, Lawrence.  Dr. Johannes Feddema and Nancy Jackson are the speakers on Climate Change and Renewable Energy followed by a walking tour of the Bowersock Dam, located on the Kansas River.

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NEWS RELEASE - June 13, 2008

ASSESSMENTS SERVE VITAL ROLE IN WRAPS PROCESS

Lawrence, Kansas—What is a watershed assessment and why does a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) area need one? That question was recently answered by a number of presenters at the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Regional Watershed Seminar on May 22 in Lawrence.

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The Future of Food in the Kansas River Valley

On Saturday, May 31, a packed room at the Douglas County Extension Office closely followed the detailed presentations of three experts as they offered their perceptions of the Future of Food in the Kansas River Valley.

Ken Meter led a discussion of the value of our regional agricultural heritage and the potential of local food production to provide critical revenue, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, expanding markets for local growers and ranchers, increased visitor traffic, enhanced community image and improved quality of life.  Ken, an author and economist, is President of the Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis and economic and strategic advisor to Aldo Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture (Iowa State University). He taught economics at Harvard and the University of Minnesota, and earned his MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  For more info, see http://www.crcworks.org/rural.html

  • Click here for the outline. pdf outline of his presentation.

  • Click here for the complete presentation.  complete PowerPoint presentation
    Beware: the file size is 17.4 megs.  Even on a DSL or cable connection, this can take awhile to download.  For best results, right-click the link (on a PC, or Command+Click on a Mac) and choose the "save as" option to download a copy to your hard drive.

Rhonda Janke gathered data from the last 100 years of food production in the Kansas River Valley, which illustrated that the region once was more than self sufficient in all manner of food products, and could be again, even with a much larger population. Dr. Janke has more than 25 years experience in sustainable agricultural research and extension work in sustainable cropping systems, including as Research Director of the Rodale Institute. Dr. Janke is currently Associate Professor at Kansas State University, teaching sustainable and organic agriculture. She has conducted considerable research and analysis of the Kansas River Valley, focusing on its history and potential for greater variety and volume of food production. She is author of the recently published book, Farming in the Dark: A Discussion About the Future of Sustainable Agriculture. For more info about the book, see: http://www.universityreaders.com/publish/janke/

  •   Click here for Rhonda's presentation pdf copy of Rhonda's presentation. 3.1 meg file

Scott Allegrucci illustrated that visitors and tourists can be drawn to the area, rich in existing and developing cultural resources, and that a vibrant local food economy goes hand in hand with, and becomes part of, the attraction. Scott serves on the Kansas Rural Center Board and works for The Land Institute's Climate and Energy Project. He organized both Governor Sebelius' inaugural dinners which featured local food, and served as the Director of the Tourism Development Division for the Kansas Department of Commerce.

  •   Click here for a copy of Scott's presentation pdf copy of Scott's presentation. 5.7 meg file

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NEWS RELEASE - October 9, 2007

Schools Selected for Wind Energy Project

Whiting, Ks. - The Kansas Wind for Schools Coordinator Dan Nagengast of the Kansas Rural Center, and Ruth Douglas Miller at the Wind Applications Center (WAC) at Kansas State University, are pleased to announce the selection of five rural primary and secondary schools to receive a Skystream 3.7 wind turbine as part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Wind for Schools initiative.

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NEWS RELEASE - July 31, 2007

KANSAS RURAL CENTER AWARDS CLEAN WATER FARMS-RIVER FRIENDLY FARM PROJECT COST-SHARE FUNDS

WHITING, KS — The Kansas Rural Center recently awarded $41,356 in cost-share funds from its Clean Water Farms-River Friendly Farm Project (CWF-RFFP) to 14 Kansas farmers. Farmers in the following counties received funding: Brown, Cherokee, Cowley, Crawford, Franklin, Jackson, McPherson, Osage, Reno, Riley, Russell, Wabaunsee and Washington. Of those, ten farms are located in high-priority Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) areas in Kansas.

To improve the water quality on their farm or ranch, approved projects must implement best management practices (BMPs). Approved projects include the following BMPs: development of alternative livestock watering systems; fencing of ponds, creeks and wetlands to restrict cattle access; installation of cross fencing (to protect water sources, improve grazing distribution and distribute manure); construction of creek crossings to reduce erosion; conversion of cropland to grass; planting riparian area with native grass to control erosion, and reseeding a denuded area.

“The Clean Water Farms project is unique in that grant funds can be used for practices common in many other conservation programs but also for innovative ideas for protecting water quality. Any practice that will show improvement to water quality will be considered for funding,” Dale Kirkham, CWF-RFFP field organizer said.

Farmers and ranchers in established or developing WRAPS watersheds are eligible to apply for up to $5,000 in cost-share funds. (See the CWFP page on KRC’s website for a map of eligible areas.) To apply, farmers must have completed the River Friendly Farm Plan (RFFP), a self-environmental assessment, and developed an action plan to address any problems found by the assessment. As an added incentive, there is a $250 payment for those farmers completing the RFFP.

Over the past two years, the CWF-RFFP allocated over $150,000 to 48 water quality projects. Over 12 years, the project has provided nearly $550,000 in cost-share funds to over 140 producers to establish demonstrations of clean water farming practices.

“Common practices include establishment of filter strips, contour grass strips and buffers, fencing to restrict livestock access to ponds and streams, and development of alternative livestock water supplies. Development of long-term crop rotations with legumes, decommissioning out-dated livestock waste facilities, and relocation of winter feeding sites are other possibilities for enhancing water quality,” Kirkham said. “In fact, the program encourages farmers and ranchers to develop innovative and practical ways to solve water quality issues.”

Contact the Kansas Rural Center at 785-873-3431 or ksrc@rainbowtel.net for more information on the Clean Water Farms Project or the River Friendly Farm Plan or visit the KRC website.

The project is funded by U.S. EPA Section 319 funds through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and administered by the Kansas Rural Center, a non-profit research, education, and advocacy organization located in Whiting, Kan.

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NEWS RELEASE

Center for Food Safety Challenges Ventria Water Permits

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) has filed comments with the Kansas Department of Agriculture on the pending water term permit applications from Ventria for field trials of genetically modified rice., see the attached PDF document. CFS, a non-profit public interest organization opposing genetically engineered food crops, has asked that the permits be denied.

Ventria is proceeding with plans to grow three types of rice genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals in Geary County Kansas. USDA has authorized Ventria to plant up to 3,200 acres in Kansas . Harvest is planned for fall 2007. Future plantings may be ten times larger (30,000 acres). The CFS argues that the possibility of contamination of neighboring food crops creates unnecessary and unacceptable risks to the public and the environment. U.S. FDA has not approved the pharmaceuticals Ventria is growing in the rice for human consumption.

CFS argues that the water permits "prejudicially and unreasonably affects the public interest", and the proposed irrigation of experimental pharmaceutical crops is not a "beneficial use" as understood in traditional Ks. water law, and that any such water permits may impair existing water rights.

The permits are being reviewed by the Division of Water Resources within the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The CFS comments can be viewed at the CFS website at http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/policy_com.cfm,
or by clicking on this link.  Click here to download the CFS document

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NEWS RELEASE - July 2, 2007

KANSAS RURAL CENTER ANNOUNCES WIND TURBINES FOR SCHOOLS INITIATIVE

Whiting, Kans.—The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) announces a three year partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado for the Wind Turbines for Schools Initiative. The initiative encourages rural high school science teachers in Kansas to engage students in wind energy education.

KRC serves as facilitator for the project that will install wind turbines at approximately five rural schools each year. Kansas State University will establish a Wind Application Center that will serve to provide technical assistance to rural schools and others. The project anticipates the provision of associated curriculums for the use of the science teachers, collection of data from each school, and the development of other scientific projects building on the turbines and data collection.

The project will install the Southwest Windpower Skystream 3.7, a 1.8-kW turbine suitable for residential use. Over 9,000 of these turbines were installed around the country in 2006. The Skystream is the first wind generator with the controls and invertor built into the turbine. http://www.skystreamenergy.com/skystream/

Hardware, including the turbine, data collection systems, and interconnection with the school’s power supply will approach $10,000. Funding will entail seeking some local support from the school or community, state sponsored grants if available, the sale of green tag credits, and some NREL support for the Data acquisition system. NREL will also support science teacher training.

If you are a rural high school science teacher, or know a teacher who might be interested, please contact the facilitator Dan Nagengast at 785-748-0959 or email him at dan@kansasruralcenter.org

For more information about NREL, please contact:
Ian Baring-Gould at 303-384-7021 or ian_baring-gould@nrel.gov
Marguerite Kelly at 303-384-7441 or Marguerite_Kelly@nrel.gov

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NEWS RELEASE - June 25, 2007

JACKSON COUNTY PRODUCERS HOST LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT TOUR

Jackson County, Kans.—While cloudy skies loomed to the west, approximately 40 farmers gathered at the farm of Les Olsen near Mayetta for the Jackson County Livestock Management Practice tour on June 14. The tour, featuring farms throughout the county, illustrated low-cost management practices that farmers can implement into their own livestock operations.

The first stop on the tour the Olsen farm, in the Delaware River watershed, featured a bale ring feeding pad demonstration as well as a livestock waterer below the pond. The feeding pad was made from a layer of geo-textile, polypropylene fabric, three to four inches of rock and topped with two to three inches of agricultural lime. This feeding pad allows the farmer to feed livestock on a solid surface, making scraping the pad and spreading the manure on fields easier. Olsen said prior to installing the feeding pad there was manure buildup and runoff from the buildings across the area. He tiled the drainage under the feeding pad, eliminating the runoff.

Olsen attributes the feeding pad to less stress on his livestock and himself due to being cleaner. “I don’t have to fight the mud and sludge,” he said. “And the neighbors don’t mind doing chores!”

As another project, Olsen installed a below-the-pond waterer in 2003. He said this relieves a safety issue that he had for the cattle and himself. “I don’t have to chop ice,” he said. He also fenced a pond at this point and plans to fence the smaller pond in the pasture in the future.

Roberta Spencer, Jackson County Conservation District manager, said that these management practices are not just to Olsen’s benefit, “but to the water quality in the watershed.”

At the next tour stop, Stan Brock’s farm (three miles north of the junction of Highways 16 and 116) tour goers were able to see the geo-textile used in another way. Brock installed a geo-textile fabric/rock/lime feeding pad in front of his feed bunk in one of his weaning pens. Between this lot and two others, Stan said he feeds 1200-1300 calves. This will serve as a true demonstration project to see how this holds up to the usage from the calves and how it impacts water quality on the farm and in the Delaware watershed.

Spencer said the demonstration projects were paid for with a limited amount of money the Jackson County Conservation District received through the Watershed and Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) funding from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

The final farm stop was at Joe Kennedy’s farm nine miles west and two miles south of Holton. This stop, in the Middle Kansas WRAPS, featured Kennedy’s spring development as well as a storage tank, pipeline and freeze proof waterers. Kennedy was using the creek to water his livestock and received non-point source pollution funding through the State Conservation Commission to make water quality changes on his farm.

Now, with the spring development, Kennedy is able to fence the creek and utilize the three waterers he has installed. Excluding the livestock from the creek, reduces livestock waste run-off as well as erosion from the livestock traffic.

The tour concluded at Red Rock Guest Ranch, near Solider, for a chuck wagon lunch. While at the ranch, Will Boyer, KSU Watershed Specialist, provided the tour goers with more information on additional livestock practices as well as a solar pumping demonstration. Will said the cloudy weather was perfect for the demonstration as it showed that the system still worked—even with cloud cover.

John Bond, project coordinator for Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams (KAWS), said the best thing about tours like this one is the farmer to farmer contact. “Farmers are likely to listen to own their own neighbors,” he said. “It is a great educational tool.”

Marlene Bosworth, Delaware River WRAPS coordinator, said tours like this are one way that we can “educate people to improve water quality in our watershed”.

“They are good practices with the farmer’s operations in mind—the projects are on a custom basis to keep cattle away from streams and protect water quality,” she said. “Projects like these are key because they illustrate something that’ll work for each farmer.”

According to Bosworth, WRAPS is a process that involves local people and organizations in a unified effort to identify and work on water issues that affect a watershed area. The Delaware River WRAPS project covers the watershed area that drains to Perry Lake Reservoir, including parts of Jackson, Jefferson, Nemaha, Brown and Atchison counties in northeast Kansas.

Bosworth said a comprehensive WRAPS plan for this watershed was recently completed that identified seven major water quality issues needing to be addressed in the watershed. Because the major land use in the watershed is agriculture, many of the water quality issues are related to agriculture’s impact on water quality including: nutrient and bacterial contamination from livestock wastes; erosion from cropland, pastures and stream banks, and pesticide runoff. Other issues include protecting groundwater wells; proper disposal of hazardous wastes, and point sources related to public wastewater systems.

Problems and solutions were identified by local people and organizations using information from scientific water quality studies that have been conducted in the watershed. “Because the local people will be the ones to implement water quality solutions, we felt it best to find out from them what the problems are and how they can be solved rather than have someone else come in and tell us what’s wrong and how to fix it,” Bosworth said.

The tour was organized by the Jackson County Conservation District and sponsored by Glacial Hills RC&D; Kansas State Research and Extension; Delaware WRAPS, and KAWS.

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PRESS RELEASE June 4, 2007

OFRF TO FUND RESEARCH AND EDUCATION GRANTS

Santa Cruz, CA – The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has released two requests for proposals for submission to their competitive grants program.

OFRF for the first time is specifically soliciting proposals for education and outreach projects that are targeted primarily at organic farmers and ranchers. OFRF will also continue to fund research to improve organic production systems.

The next deadline for proposals is July 16, 2007.

"We're hoping to see some innovative educational proposals," said Cynthia Connolly, an organic farmer in Florida who heads the OFRF committee that evaluates grant proposals. "In many rural areas, new farmers transitioning to organic have no support, no information from Extension--nobody is there. This outreach program might reach those farmers who are pursuing organic agriculture."

The request for proposals (RFP) for research grants has been revised. It now explicitly requires that research be conducted on certified organic research ground. There are two exceptions to this policy: when the land is not certified for scientific reasons, or if the land is exempt from certification in accordance with the NOP standards.

Other changes include the inclusion of the criteria that the OFRF board uses to evaluate proposals in the RFPs.

"These changes make our selection process more transparent," said Jane Sooby, OFRF's organic research specialist who manages the grant program. "Applicants can see exactly what we're looking for in a proposal. We anticipate ever larger numbers of high quality proposals coming in the door."

OFRF's competitive grants program is in its 15th year. OFRF has awarded 243 organic research and education grants totaling over $1.6 million disbursed to date.

A 2006 report released by OFRF showed the significant impact that OFRF grantmaking has had on the science of organic agriculture, helping to establish organic research programs at land grant colleges around the country and leveraging at least $3.5 million in other funds to support organic research and education.

The report on OFRF grantmaking, Investing in Organic Knowledge: Impacts of the First 13 Years of the Organic Farming Research Foundation's Grantmaking Program, is available free online at http://ofrf.org/publications/investing.html.

Upcoming deadlines for proposals are July 16 and Dec. 17, 2007. Read the new RFPs online at http://ofrf.org/grants/apply.html. For additional information, contact OFRF by calling 831-426-6606 or emailing research@ofrf.org.

Results of previously funded projects are also posted on the site at http://ofrf.org/funded/funded.html

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   May 17, 2007

USDA Approval of Drug-Producing Rice in Kansas Poses Threat to Food Safety,
Say Food Safety & Farming Groups

Tornadoes, Floods Could Contaminate Foods With Drugs Not Approved By FDA 

20,000 Citizens, Scientists, Farming and Rice Organizations In Opposition

WASHINGTON — The Center for Food Safety, Kansas Rural Center and Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering object to USDA’s May 16th approval of drug-producing rice cultivation in Kansas, charging that it poses needless risks to the safety of the American food supply.  USDA’s approval permits cultivation in the Junction City area of up to 3,200 acres of rice genetically engineered to produce pharmaceutical compounds that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused to approve.  FDA approval is not required for planting to proceed.

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NEWS RELEASE: May 2, 2007

WILDLIFE AND CONSERVATION GROUPS SUPPORT FARM BILL CONSERVATION PROGRAMS
Coalition to encourage Congressional Delegation to support wildlife habitat improvement and natural resource conservation in the Farm Bill

Wichita, KS.   In an effort to help build support for USDA Natural Resource Conservation Programs in the next federal farm bill, wildlife, environmental, civic and landowner organizations along with several state agencies and private businesses today announced their formation of the ‘Kansas Conservation Coalition,’ a cooperative organization to help educate the general public and policy makers on the benefits of Farm Bill Conservation Programs to landowners and the environment.  

“When you consider that over 97% of Kansas is made up of privately held land, mostly in agricultural production, we must have a strong conservation title in the next Farm Bill if we’re going to have good wildlife habitat and a healthy environment,” said Don Snider, President of the Kansas Wildlife Federation. “Farmers, ranchers and other landowners depend on these programs to conserve our natural resources and improve wildlife habitat. We support their efforts and that’s why we have formed this coalition.” 

Members of the Coalition include Audubon of Kansas, Friends of the KAW, Geary County Fish and Game Association, the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts, the Kansas Bowhunters Association, the Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, the Kansas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Kansas Ducks Unlimited, Kansas Native Plant Society, the Kansas Natural Resource Council, the Kansas Nature-based Tourism Alliance, Kansas Ornithological Society, Kansas Outfitters Association, the Kansas Wildlife Federation, the National Rifle Association – Central Region, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, The Kansas Canoe and Kayak Association, The Kansas Rural Center and The Nature Conservancy - Kansas Chapter

Designed to help ‘spread the word’ on the benefits of the programs under the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill to both the wildlife habitat in Kansas and the bottom line of Kansas’s agriculture producers, the Kansas Conservation Coalition will work to educate policy makers, wildlife groups, agriculture producers, other landowners, and the general public on the benefits of conservation work on private lands.

 “When you see the improvement in wildlife habitat that has been brought about through programs like the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), and the Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program (WHIP), the value of USDA Conservation Programs to Kansas wildlife speak for themselves,” said Barth Crouch, Regional Wildlife Biologist for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “When you consider the help these programs give to producers and to the environment and when you see how these programs help us continue our outdoor recreation traditions, and improve the quality of life of all Kansans as well as help support the bottom lines of our farmers and ranchers, it’s easy to come together to support the conservation title of the farm bill.”

 The Conservation Title of the Farm Bill primarily deals with locally led, voluntary natural resource programs under the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Farm Services Agency (FSA). These programs generally work with landowners through financial assistance in the form of cost-share dollars, incentive payments and technical assistance through USDA County Offices to help protect and conserve soil, water, air and wildlife habitats. Last year over $20 million in cost-share dollars were available to Kansas’s landowners through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) alone. Additional monies were also available to landowners through programs such as the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and over 3 million Kansas acres are currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

 “Kansas land owners work hard to make a living for their families and we must give them an incentive to set aside parts of their property to support habitat for wildlife, not just game wildlife, but for all wildlife,” said Dan Haines, President of the Kansas Chapter of The Wildlife Society. “If we are going to leave our children a heritage, we must conserve nature's bounty so generations to come can enjoy and appreciate our great wildlife diversity in Kansas. The Conservation provisions of the Farm Bill accomplish that objective if funded as originally envisioned, but last year, only one in four land owners who applied for incentives were able to implement conservation measures due to lack of congressional funding.”

 "It is great that Agriculture and Wildlife groups are coming together to support these Farm Bill conservation programs," said Troy Schroeder of the Kansas Rural Center. "Working together we can help better educate farmers about the programs that are available and we can help encourage our policy makers in Washington to support these voluntary programs that improve water quality, provide wildlife habitats, and financial incentives to farmers and ranchers."

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 24, 2007

Genetically Engineered Pharmaceutical Rice Is Not the Solution to Diarrhea

Drugs in Rice Not Approved by FDA, Will Likely Contaminate Foods

Groups Urge Ban on All Drug-Producing Genetically Engineered Food Crops

WASHINGTON — Genetically engineered, pharmaceutical rice is not a safe or cost-effective solution for infants suffering from diarrhea, concludes an exhaustive report released today by the Center for Food Safety, as the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) considers whether to allow planting of the rice in Kansas this spring. The report discusses potential adverse health impacts of the rice-grown drugs, which have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

MORE - - - Click here to download the News Release  pdf version of this news release.

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NEWS RELEASE: March 15, 2007

Local Farmers Travel to D.C. to Discuss Sustainable Agriculture in 2007 Farm Bill

Whiting, Ks. - Northeast Kansas farmers, Laura Fortmeyer, Fairview, and Jackie Keller, Topeka, traveled to Washington, D.C. March 6-8 to talk with members of Congress and their staff about the national and state benefits of funding sustainable agriculture programs in the 2007 Farm Bill.

“Though most of the attention right now is on the overall state of the federal budget, the Farm Bill is not just about funding,” stated Laura Fortmeyer. “The 2007 Farm Bill will reflect our nation’s vision for meeting the nutrition, energy and fiber needs of our nation and our markets.”

“I want to see a Farm Bill that focuses on communities rather than commodities, people rather than products, good food rather than cheap food,” Fortmeyer explained. “My hope is that appropriations and the 2007 Farm Bill programs will encourage stewardship of our resource base, broad-based economic rewards, and healthy rural communities.” Laura and her husband Doug and their two children graze livestock near Fairview in Brown County.

Jackie Keller operates a certified organic farm west of Topeka where she raises milo, wheat, soybeans, and alfalfa and clover. “We traveled to D.C. because we strongly believe in the importance of programs that support sustainable farming practices and the next generation of farmers and ranchers,” she stated.

Fortmeyer and Keller, both board members for the Kansas Rural Center (KRC), were in D.C. as part of a delegation of over 150 farmers, ranchers, and farm and rural advocates attending the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s Roots to Reform farm policy summit. During the three-day period, members held over 50 meetings with Congressional offices; Fortmeyer and Keller met with staff from Reps. Boyda and Moran’s offices and from Senators Brownback and Roberts’ offices.

The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a national alliance of farm, rural, and conservation groups, including the Kansas Rural Center, that works to support federal policies encouraging healthy rural economies, family farmers and stewardship of resources, and new markets for locally or regionally produced food.

Our talks focused on several key programs such as the Conservation Security Program (CSP), a fully funded Value Added Producer Grant Program ((VAPG), and better support for organic production and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program,” stated Keller. A fully-funded CSP would offer an opportunity to begin shifting dollars not needed for commodity payments, due to projected higher grain prices, to conservation based support for farmers, which provides public benefits of water quality and soil protection and is also World Trade Organization (WTO) friendly. The VAPG provides assistance to farmers looking for alternative marketing or value added business options. Farmers interested in organic production benefit from cost-share assistance to help with the transition and from research. All of these are part of the 2007 Farm Bill being considered over the next few months.

“These programs offer a lot of help to smaller or mid- sized farms which are better for local communities and encourage production using sound resource friendly practices, according to Keller.

The Kansas Rural Center is a non-profit research, education and advocacy organization promoting sustainable agriculture and a sustainable food system.

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NEWS RELEASE: January 22, 2007

Kansas Rural Center Supports Push For Major Farm Bill Changes

Whiting, Ks.–The Kansas Rural Center today joined hundreds of other groups around the country to call for a more balanced farm bill – one that would make real progress toward supporting family farms, promoting entrepreneurship in rural America, enhancing conservation, advancing diversity and support for socially disadvantaged farmers, and tackling the serious hunger and diet-related health problems facing our nation’s citizens.

A report, “Seeking Balance in U.S. Farm and Food Policy,” was released today with endorsements by more than 300 organizations, including the Kansas Rural Center. The report was developed under the auspices of the Farm and Food Policy Project, a collaboration of rural, family farm, conservation, anti-hunger, nutrition, faith-based, public health, and other groups.

The report outlines ideas aimed at providing incentives for more environmentally-friendly farming systems; increasing conservation on working farms; reducing hunger and soaring rates of obesity; promoting entrepreneurship and economic development in farm and rural communities; encouraging local food production; and reducing barriers and creating opportunities for young and beginning farmers and ranchers getting started in agriculture.

“KRC’s work focuses not only on the producers of food, but on consumers and the health, safety and availability of food to rural and urban citizens alike,” stated Dan Nagengast, Executive Director for the Kansas Rural Center. “Seeking the Balance is a real attempt to define how the 2007 farm bill can provide a safer, healthier food system for all of us, and help us play a more responsible role globally.”

A complete copy of the Farm and Food Policy Project’s policy statement and recommendations may be viewed and downloaded from its Web site at http://www.farmandfoodproject.org/ 

The Kansas Rural Center is a non-profit research, education, and advocacy organization promoting sustainable agriculture and a sustainable food system.

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NEWS RELEASE: November 6, 2006

WIND ENERGY CONFERENCE SPARKS INTEREST IN COMMUNITY WIND

Whiting, KS - Over 200 Kansans participated in the Community Wind Workshop hosted by Cloud County Community College with Interactive Television sites at Community Colleges in Colby, Butler County, Dodge, and Goodland, and Pioneer Communications Center in Tribune on October 31. Numerous legislators, energy industry professionals and farmers or others interested in community wind attended. The workshop was sponsored by Cloud County Community College, Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas Farm Bureau Legal Foundation for Agriculture, the Kansas Energy Office, Wind Powering America, and the Kansas Rural Center.

Planning for the workshop was initiated by several people who had visited community wind projects in southwestern Minnesota last summer as part of a joint tour organized by the Kansas Energy Office and the Governor's Rural Life Task Force. Participants on that trip became convinced that locally owned wind projects could greatly benefit our rural economy, if public policies can be changed to help instead of hinder their development.

To that end, the organizers brought in Jack Keers -Pipestone County Commissioner, Lisa Daniels - Founder and Executive Director of Windustry, and Tom Wind - a well-known community wind project consultant from Jefferson, Iowa. The three addressed the major policy and technical obstacles presented to those who wish to put together a project.

“It is no secret that wind energy has become developed, quite profitably,” stated Dan Nagengast, Executive Director of the Kansas Rural Center, one of the sponsors, “ in those states where utilities are required to purchase a percentage of their energy from renewable resources.” Tom Wind from Iowa, in particular, was quite envious of the huge Kansas wind resource, and made it clear that if Iowa or Minnesota had Kansas’ wind, there would be an enormous effort to take advantage of it.

Commissioner Keers spoke of the benefits to their rural economy and tax revenues from community owned wind. He also discussed a caucus of energy producing counties which has had considerable success in influencing the Minnesota legislature to recognize the value of their wind resource, and to pass legislation which encourages development of locally owned projects.

Other speakers included Joe King, who walked through a Community Wind decision toolkit, (available on CD Rom from the Kansas Energy Office) Jennifer States, from JW Windpower LLC ( a community wind developer working in Kansas), Joe Harkins, Special Assistant to Govern Sebelius, and Ken Frahm from the Kansas Energy Council. Stuart Lowry representing the Kansas Electric Cooperatives and Colin Hansen representing Kansas Municipal Utilities, Inc. also discussed the issues surrounding the integration of wind into their member associations.

A legislative panel consisting of Rep. Josh Svaty, Sen. Sharon Schwarz, Rep. Tom Sloan, Rep. Dan Johnson and Rep. Carl Holmes. closed out the program, followed by a brief tour of the Cloud County Community College Wind Energy Technology Program.

Organizers will be meeting shortly to begin exploring ways to maintain momentum. In the meantime, farmers or cooperatives interested in understanding more should begin talking with their local utility, and should contact Jim Ploger at the Kansas Energy Office for the toolkit. j.ploger@kcc.state.ks.us  Copies of all power point presentations will be available soon on the Kansas Energy Office web site. http://www.kcc.state.ks.us/energy/comm_wind/index.htm 

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NEWS RELEASE: October 11, 2006

National Coalition Calls for Farm Bill Overhaul to Strengthen Agriculture,
the Environment and Rural Communities; Coalition Gives Congress and Administration Poor Grades in 2002 Farm Bill Implementation

Whiting, Ks.- The Kansas Rural Center joins the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, a nationwide coalition representing farm and rural interests, today in giving Congress and the Administration low marks for key parts of the 2002 Farm Bill, and issued a comprehensive reform agenda for the upcoming 2007 Farm Bill.

The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, an alliance of farm, rural and conservation groups, gave Congress a D+ and the Administration a C- for their farm bill efforts on ten key components of the 2002 bill. In its platform for the new farm bill, No Time for Delay, the Coalition calls on Congress to embrace reform and construct new policies and programs that promote economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, and rural prosperity.

“ While some are calling for a “stay the course” approach to farm policy, we see a need for substantial change if we are to meet our future food and resource needs,” stated Mary Fund, Communications Director for the Kansas Rural Center, a member of the Coalition and an endorser of the report card. “Congress and the Administration have largely failed with implementation of the last farm bill, leaving us with a backlog of rural economic, agricultural and environmental problems. The next farm bill is an opportunity to make a long overdue substantial down payment on a new generation of food and farm policy.”

“We need a farm and food system that provides producers a decent living, offers rewards or incentives for conservation based production practices, and that provides consumers assurances of safe, secure and healthy food,” stated KRC’s Fund. “Kansas needs to address where the next generation of farmers is going to come from. We need to produce more of our food needs locally or within the region, and we need to take care of the most vulnerable in our society-- children, the low income, and the elderly.” In addition to production agriculture, the farm bill includes the food stamp and nutrition programs.

In No Time for Delay, the Coalition and KRC urge the federal government to adopt a series of key policies that are urgently needed to help new farmers enter agriculture, promote profitable family farms, enhance the environment, and build healthy, diversified rural community economies.

Among these policy recommendations, the most critical for Kansas include:

  • Expanding the Conservation Security Program to reward farmers and ranchers for effective conservation; according to SAC and KRC, this benchmark program authorized in the 2002 farm bill has been underfunded and narrowly limited to a few watersheds and sustainable and organic system approaches should receive more attention for their role in environmental protection and resource management.

  • Making critical investments in agriculturally-based enterprise development to strengthen rural economies; SAC and KRC support directing significant resources into programs that will enhance development of local and regional food production. Programs that serve producer needs for marketing and business development such as the Value-Added Producer Grant Program, Farmers’ Market Promotion Program; and Organic Certification Cost-Share and Organic transition payments, should receive greater emphasis.

  • Addressing in a comprehensive fashion the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers; the average age of farmers is well over 50; fewer young people are entering farming; SAC and KRC support incentives to encourage the next generation of farmers and especially those wanting to enter local/regional food production.

The timing of the report and report card coincides with an election-season break in the debate on the 2007 Farm Bill. That debate is anticipated to accelerate early next year when the new congressional session begins. Both chambers of Congress have already held a series of hearings on the direction of the next farm bill.

“While members of Congress are home for the election recess, citizens should start dialogue with them about the farm bill,” said Dan Nagengast, KRC Executive Director. “The next Congress should head back to Washington ready to break the cycle of business as usual with the next farm bill and set about to do a much better job of aligning policy with public support for family farms, the environment, and nutrition needs.”

In its “Farm Bill Report Card” the Coalition gave failing or low grades to both the Congress and the Administration for their repeated actions to channel the limited funding promised in the 2002 Farm Bill for conservation, research and rural development into other, ill-advised uses. Both branches of government were also downgraded for making these cuts while not taking any action to stop the million dollar production subsidy checks to mega farms at the expense of family farmers, taxpayers and the environment.

Click here to download the Executive Summary Executive Summary of the report.

Click here to download the Report Card. 2002 Farm Bill Implementation Report Card. 

A Synopsis of Key Recommendations plus the full text of "No Time for Delay: A Sustainable Agriculture Agenda for the 2007 Farm Bill" are posted at www.msawg.org

The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition represents grassroots farm, rural, and conservation organizations from across the country that together advocate for federal policies and programs supporting the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources and rural communities.

The Kansas Rural Center is a non-profit research, education and advocacy organization promoting a sustainable agriculture and food system.

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News Release: September 30, 2006

Kansas Rural Center Distributes Wind Energy Quiz

Whiting, Ks.- The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) is distributing an Energy "Quiz" on renewable electrical energy to guide citizens as they talk to candidates this fall. "As energy issues rise to the forefront of political debate and decision making, we've taken a strong interest in how alternative or renewable energy sources are considered," stated Dan Nagengast, KRC Executive Director.

One area of particular interest is Kansas' abundant wind energy resource and its possible contribution to not only a clean source of electrical energy but its value to rural communities.

Kansas will soon be asked to approve a number of new power plants that will be powered by imported coal. Over 150 new coal plants are being proposed in the U.S. alone, and 850 in the world. This comes at a time when global scientific consensus is moving rapidly toward the need for alternatives to coal that do not pollute with Mercury (a toxin), Nitrous Oxide (smog), Sulpher Dioxide (acid rain), and atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (a major source of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming).

According to KRC, full discussion of alternatives for non-polluting renewable forms of electrical energy is needed. "Public policy that promotes and encourages the development of our wind energy has the potential to infuse a large new income stream into our economy," state Nagengast.

KRC's energy quiz was developed to offer citizens and candidates some basic information on wind energy, how other states have developed it and benefit, and what kinds of policies we need in Kansas. It also reference sand links to other resources as discussion and debate on this critical issue heats up.

The KRC website has both a long version of the quiz complete with background and resource links, and a short version for easy printing and hand-out. They may be downloaded here.

Or contact KRC at 785-873-3431 for more information.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

 Click here for the CSP Guide The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Released a "Farmers' Guide to the New Conservation Stewardship Program" in September 2009.

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NON-rBGH DAIRY COMPANIES LISTED

Want to know if the milk and dairy products you use have been produced with milk from non-rBGH sources or not? Not all of those who have dropped use of the artificial hormone have labels stating this. But the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (OPSR) recently released a list of the top 100 dairy manufacturers across the country who either are partially rBGH free or completely rBGH free. This includes those companies doing business in Kansas.

Rick North and Gretchen Miller of Oregon PSR compiled the lists from the Top 100 list from Dairyfoods.com.

Click here for the list   pdf version of the list:

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Ag Marketing Programs Available Through Kansas Department of Commerce

Two programs that may be of interest to you from the Department of Commerce Ag Marketing Division.

The Agriculture Value Added Loan program
    There are 3 areas of funding for this loan:

  • Agritourism Attraction Development Loan Program
    The Agritourism Attraction Development Loan Program is designed to assist new/start-up and existing agritourism operators to further enhance their business operations. Agritourism is when the public visits a working farm, ranch, winery or any agricultural operation or active agricultural heritage site for enjoyment, outdoor recreation, activities, education, shopping, dining or lodging. These visits generate income for the operators, which can help sustain the rural way of life and help keep more producers on our Kansas lands. Applicants must be a registered with the Kansas Department of Commerce as an Agritourism Operation.

  • Diversified Farm and Specialty Production Loan Program
    The Diversified Farm and Specialty Production Loan Program is designed to assist Kansas agriculture producers in transitioning to non-traditional crops or livestock as a means to add value to the farm. Non-traditional crops or livestock are defined as those not currently tracked by the Kansas Agriculture Statistics Service (KASS). Projects cannot be an expansion of an existing operation. Applicants must exhibit the potential for the project to generate and sustain additional revenue streams for the farm operation.

  • Agriculture Value Added Loan Program
    The Agriculture Value Added Loan Program is designed to assist agriculture producers in Kansas with value-added ventures which do not qualify for the Agritourism Attraction Development Loan Program or the Diversified Farm and Specialty Production Loan Program. “Value-added”, simply defined, amounts to “further processing or alternative marketing of agriculturally derived products to capture additional value in the marketplace.” Three types of loans - Market Development Funds, Bridge Loans, and Commercialization Funds - are available through the Division.

Marketing Development funds are available for projects that explore a market or facilitate entry into a market.  Bridge funds are available for equity drives or escrow financing for start-up funds.   Commercialization funds are provided for projects that involve actual processing, equipment, physical structures, and gap financing.

The Agritourism Registration program

Wineries and vineyards can register through this free program and receive a multitude of services, including but not limited to the limited liability signage and 20% tax credit on liability insurance, or scholarships for educational conferences (such as Unified Wine and Grape Symposium or Wineries Unlimited, or a self designed winery or vineyard tour in another state)

If you have interest in either program, email slarison@kansascommerce.com or call 785-296-8132.

Sarah A. Larison
Domestic Marketing Specialist
Agriculture Marketing Division
Kansas Department of Commerce
1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66612-1354
Phone: (785) 296-8132
Fax: (785) 296-3776
TTY: (785) 296-3487
www.kansascommerce.com

The mission of the Kansas Department of Commerce is to empower businesses, individuals and communities to realize prosperity in Kansas.

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High Plains Food Coop Launched

The High Plains Food Coop (HPFC) is looking for member producers to sell products in the Denver metro area and along the Front Range. The new food coop will launch in May 2008.

The food coop has been guided by the Ogallala Commons, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union with a Rural Development Grant, and the Oklahoma Food Coop. Organizing committee members from several HIgh Plains states have met regularly and worked closely with the Oklahoma Food coop to launch the HPFC.

The HPFC will match producers in the High Plains Region with consumers in the Front Range through an online ordering and delivery system. The main goal of the cooperative is to increase the direct to consumer market opportunities for small and medium sized producers. The objectives are to increase income for producers, bring fresh and local products to Denver and create a unified business to support everyone in between.

Demand:

Currently, there are very few locations in the Front Range to buy quality, locally grown agricultural products. With the closing of the Boulder Cooperative Market there is a large gap between Whole Foods and Farmers Markets. While both entities operate successfully, Whole Foods is often viewed as a large corporation and although there is a healthy farmers market scene in the Front Range they operate only a few months out of the year. The need for a consistent, local and healthy alternative in the Front Range is huge! The HPFC will fill this need in the marketplace but can not operate without the products to fill the demand.

Consumer Surveys:

After surveying the target market, the initial results are:

  • Over 85% of the surveys list fresh produce and meats (poultry, beef, and pork) as the items they will most likely purchase followed by herbs, gift items and other.

  • The consumers list organic, local or natural as high priorities and will pay more money for the appropriate products.

  • 100% are comfortable ordering from an online system and picking up their order.

  • There are several consumer bases very interested in becoming members including Weston A Price Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Slow Food and Denver Health Producer Involvement.

The ultimate aim of the cooperative is to allow sales and distribution channels designed to keep the producer on the land. Transportation models will allow for the producer to drive a shorter distance to drop off the orders and be paid promptly for the product. Although the system will be established with as little imposition of time as possible the producer must be an active and committed member of the cooperative.

The producer responsibilities include:

  • Logging into the online system at a predetermined time of the month to list products, quantities and prices of the products that are available to sell and deliver for the order cycle.

  • Ensuring delivery of the ordered product in appropriate packaging to the closest drop off point

  • Ensuring the quality and safety of the product

  • Participating in special events and providing materials/stories for the cooperative marketing effort

  • Responding to customer inquires promptly

Please come to the Producer Meeting March 28th!

Click here for the brochure.  HPFC brochure.
For more information contact Chris Sramek at (785) 626-3640 or visit www.highplainsfood.org

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Kansas Department of Commerce unveils
two new loan programs for agricultural producers

Funding to assist agritourism operators, non-traditional crop, livestock producers

December 13, 2007
Contact: Joe Monaco (785) 296-3760

The Kansas Department of Commerce has announced two new loan programs to help agriculture producers who are developing agritourism operations or transitioning to non-traditional crop or livestock production.

The two loan programs –– the Agritourism Attraction Development Loan Program and the Diversified Farm and Specialty Production Loan Program –– are designed to encourage diversification among Kansas rural producers, who are increasingly incorporating non-traditional activities and production lines into their traditional operations as a way to generate additional income.

“We all know that it’s becoming harder for the traditional farmer to remain viable,” said Secretary of Commerce David Kerr. “But many Kansas producers are discovering that they can generate new revenue by making their farm an agritourism attraction or by producing non-traditional crops and livestock. These new loan programs will encourage that diversification and allow rural producers to explore new avenues within the ag industry.”

Agritourism is defined as the crossroads of traditional agriculture and tourism. Examples include tourists visiting a working farm, ranch, winery or any agricultural operation for enjoyment, recreation, activities, education, shopping, dining or lodging. Non-traditional crops or livestock are defined as those not tracked by the Kansas Agriculture Statistics Service.

Loan program descriptions are as follows:

  • Agritourism Attraction Development Loan Program
    The Agritourism Attraction Development Loan Program is designed to help new and existing agritourism operators enhance their business operations. Agritourism is often described as the crossroads of traditional agriculture and tourism. Examples include tourists visiting a working farm, ranch, winery or any agricultural operation for enjoyment, outdoor recreation, activities, education, shopping, dining or lodging. Applicants must be registered with the Kansas Department of Commerce as an Agritourism Operation. Loan amounts will vary by project.

  • Diversified Farm and Specialty Production Loan Program
    The Diversified Farm and Specialty Production Loan Program is designed to assist Kansas agriculture producers in transitioning to non-traditional crops or livestock as a means to add value to the farm. Non-traditional crops or livestock are defined as those not currently tracked by the Kansas Agriculture Statistics Service. Projects cannot be an expansion of an existing operation. Applicants must exhibit the potential for the project to generate and sustain additional revenue streams for the farm operation. Loan amounts will vary by project.

For complete loan program information, including guidelines and a downloadable application, visit www.kansascommerce.com or contact BioProducts Specialist Lyle Peterson with the Kansas Department of Commerce at (785) 296-6080 or lpeterson@kansascommerce.com

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New website for Local Foods in Kaw Valley

The Kansas River Valley Local Foods Project website is now up and running. For information on locally produced foods and their availability see www.kansasrivervalley.com. This is a joint Kansas State University and Kansas Rural Center initiative designed to connect local farmers and ranchers with institutions, school systems, restaurants, and buying clubs that are looking to purchase larger wholesale quantities of locally produced foods in the Kansas River Valley area. Please browse the website and encourage buyers and producers to join and participate.

For more information contact Pete Garfinkel, Local Foods Liaison, 785-313-4033 or krvfoods@ksu.edu

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TIME TO REGISTER SENSITIVE CROPS

The season for spray damage is upon us.  If you have a commercial crop or a certified organic crop that is sensitive to drift, especially 2,4-D ester, you can register it with the Kansas Department of Agriculture.  The registration program will help protect you from damage by careless applicators since they are supposed to stay current with the registry and avoid spray activities that could potentially harm crops listed on it.

To register your crop, see the KDA website:
http://www.ksda.gov/pesticides_fertilizer/content/177
download the registration form, complete it and mail in to KDA.

From the same web page you can also download several publications related to safe use of pesticides.

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NEW Farmers' MARKET IN WESTON MISSOURI

The Weston, Missouri Chamber Of Commerce is proud to announce the Grand Opening this April 28th of a new Farmers' Market at the south end of Main Street in downtown Weston.. The opening of the new Farmers' Market is the same weekend as the Annual Flea Market at the Historic Burley Tobacco Warehouse and the Annual Park Board Flower Sale.

The Market booths are open to any person that raises or grows their farm products within 100 miles of Weston. The Market will be open at 7:00 am every Saturday from April 28th through September 29th. Any person interested in being a Vendor at the Market must contact the Farmers Market Committee as soon as possible for an application. Vendors may call Mary or Mel at Beverlin's Statuary (816)-640-5500, or by e-mail marybev48@yahoo.com

The Chamber feels that the Farmers' Market will be a great addition to the downtown area and will benefit both the residents of Weston and the surrounding area, as well as the local growers. Residents will benefit from the opportunity of getting fresh home grown farm products and growers will benefit from sales to local residents as well as the many visitors to historic Weston.

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Directory Available for Kansas Water Festivals

The Kansas Festival Field Guide connects local organizers, volunteers, supporters, and participants in the over 35 water festival events serving students and communities in over 55 counties across the state. Through showcasing the creativity, ingenuity, and positive community impact of current water festival organizers, this online directory also aims to provide ideas and inspiration for new water education events.

Please visit http://www.kacee.org/festivals to enjoy a virtual tour of water education events across the state, and help spread the word about this exciting new resource.

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INTERESTED IN WORKING ON A FARM AND LEARNING ABOUT FARMING?

"Growing Growers" is a new program in Kansas City to train farmers in local food production. The goal is to increase the number and effectiveness of small farms that grow food organically and/or sustainably in the Kansas City metro area. The program offers Apprenticeships on Local Farms.

Apprentices get hired to do an average of 20 hours a week of field work on farms in the Kansas City metropolitan area, attend 10 classes in basic farming practices (Soil Management for Organic Growers, Plant Production, Pests, Diseases and Weeds, and so on), and also receive one-on-one training from their Host Farmer.

Most of the apprenticeship positions begin in March. For more information, visit the Growing Growers website or call Katherine Kelly at 913-488-1270.

Growing Growers is primarily funded by a grant from the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program through K-State Research and Extension and the University of Missouri, Columbia, partnered with the Kansas Rural Center and the Kansas City Food Circle.

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PLAN TO GROW MARKET WORKSHOPS AVAILABLE

Could your farmers' market benefit from investing in a plan to grow your local farmers' market? Would you like to have your farmers' market board on the same page throughout the market season?  KRC offers custom designed planning workshops within your community to grow your market. If you are interested, please contact Mercedes Taylor-Puckett, mercedes.taylorpuckett@gmail.com or 785-840-6202

You may download a descriptive brochure by clicking on this link. Click here to download the brochure.

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