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Rural Papers

The Kansas Rural Center publishes a newsletter, Rural Papers, five to six times a year. Contributors to the Kansas Rural Center receive the newsletter at no cost. Subscriptions are available for $25/year.

PDF versions of every issue of Rural Papers since
Oct. 2006 may be downloaded here, and you may also read highlights from the most recent issue.

The newsletter offers practical information on sustainable agricultural practices and profiles of Kansas farmers. It includes timely coverage of farm policy and environmental issues from a state and a national perspective. The newsletter also offers analysis and commentary on developments in industrial agriculture, such as biotechnology and genetic engineering, corporate concentration, and factory livestock production. The editor is Mary Fund.   For a complimentary copy or a subscription, contact the Kansas Rural Center at: 785/873-3431 or email

November 19, 2011
Options, Opportunities and Optimism:
Cultivating Our Food and Farm Future

The presentations are listed here in the order they appeared on the conference schedule

  • Keynote Address by Dan Nagengast, Seeds From Italy
    "Feeding the World: Billions of Farmers or Very Few?"
    Everyone is concerned about the ability of the earth to sustain our ever-increasing population and consumption. While the number of farmers declines and input costs increase, some argue that technology provides the solution. Yet with the rise of technology, fewer people know how to grow food, while the disconnect between consumers and agriculture increases. Based on his 20 years with KRC, in farming and in work on global hunger relief, Dan Nagengast presents an intriguing alternative vision for how the projected 9 billion people walking the planet by mid-century will be fed.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 4.5 megs)

  • Response to Keynote, by Paul Johnson, Kansas Rural Center
    "Can Dan's Vision for our Food and Farming Future Succeed?"
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Building Soil", by De Ann Presley, Kansas State University
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Building Soil", by Rhonda Janke, Kansas State University
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Growing Salads (or crops) for Happy Cows and Healthy Soils" by Don Koster, Producer
    How to utilize cover crops to enhance your grass-based or integrated livestock and crop system.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 2.4 megs)

  • "Hoophouse Production: Realities and Possibilities", by Cary Rivard, Kansas State University
    The logistics and potential of hoophouse production. Deciding whether a hoophouse is a feasible alternative and how to get the most out of the investment.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 4 megs)

  • "Mobile Meat Processing", by Mike Callicrate, Producer
    Ranch Foods Direct operator and northwest Kansas cattle producer Mike Callicrate will describe how the unit was brought into production, how it is operating now, the challenges it has faced, and the future potential of this processing option.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 2.3 megs)

  • "Alternative Business Structures for Local and Regional Food Entrepreneurs ", by Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Kansas State University
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Value-added Processing; Getting Started", by Gary Satter & Connie Pantle, Glacial Hills Food Center, Holton
    Report on this local produce processing center, discussing why it was developed, how producers can use it to process their products to add value, and its success stories thus far.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 6.6 megs)

  • Producer-Buyer Panel: Selling to Retail Markets
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Farm to Fork", by Chef Jeff Leahy
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "High-Tech, Low-Tech Direct Marketing", by Julie Mettenburg & Rosanna Bauman
    An exploration of tools for marketing products direct from the farm, presented by two farm direct marketers from opposite ends of the technological spectrum: Julie Mettenburg of Mettenburg Farm and Rosanna Bauman. Including an overview of the latest in local food web sites, social media apps and more.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 2.4 megs)

  • "Extending the Sales Season Beyond the Farmers Market"
    Lessons learned and opportunities from winter markets, online winter ordering, new CSA models, and more.
    Download presentation PDF

  • "Growing Vegetables for Online Winter Sales In Kansas", by Jay Sleichter, Clay Center
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Little Blue River Farm & Hanover Farmers Market", by Robin & Randy Kelley, Hanover
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Emporia Farmers Market", by Tracy Simmons
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Kansas Ranch and Range Management Internship Program", by Calvin Adams
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Lessons Learned from a Farm Apprenticeship Program", by Laura Christensen, Growing Growers, Kansas City
    Download Presentation PowerPoint

  • "The Kansas Conservation Coalition and the Federal Farm Bill", by Troy Schroeder
    Download Presentation PDF

  • "Grassroots Organizing 101", by Eileen Horn & Julie Mettenburg, Lawrence
    How to stimulate local and sustainable food opportunities, with tips on attracting the right collaborators, raising funds, coalition-building and more. Including real-world success stories from food policy councils and Our Local Food communities.
    Download Presentation PDF

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Click here for more info and to register online!
November 20, 2010
Connecting Cows, Carbon, and Carrots:
Making Sense of Our Food Future

The presentations are listed here in the order they appeared on the conference schedule

  • Keynote by Joel Brown, USDA NRC
    Climate Change and Agriculture: Challenges and Responses

    Climate change, whether natural or human caused, presents some serious challenges to agriculture. Agricultural producers are very familiar with responding to variable climate. However, projected increases in climate variability will require an even more flexible approach to management. An important aspect of responding is a realistic assessment of the risks, and development of responses, monitoring, and decision systems to guide implementation.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 6 megs)

  • Cows & Crops - Ecological Approaches to Farming: Models and Practices for a Sustainable System
    - Mary Fund & Ed Reznicek, KRC
    Explores how more diversity in farming–extended crop rotations, cover crops, grazing systems, organic practices, and more – provides our best insurance for meeting social, environmental economic, and economic goals.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 1.4 megs)

  • Trends in the Production and Marketing of Grassfed Beef
    - Jason Schmidt, Kansas Rural Center
    An overview of the history, science, production and marketing of grassfed beef; for both producers and consumers.
    Schmidt PowerPoint (large file - 2.2 megs) Schmidt Presentation Outline

    Here is contact information for the panelists:
    Torrey Ball (Grassroots Cattle Company), Reno County -
    Barry Barber (Turkey Foot Ranch), Sumner County -
    Judy Decker (Renaissance Farms), Lyon County -
    Al & Roxanne Mettenburg (Mettenburg Farm), Franklin County -
    Norm Oeding (Janzen Family Farm), Harvey County -
    Mel & Joyce Williams (MJ Ranch), Douglas County -

  • Hoop Houses 101
    - Dan Nagengast, KRC
    Seasonal high tunnels will be an important part of future food production, promising longer growing seasons, protection from weather and pest problems, and ensuring quality products. Learn about construction and management.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 6.5 megs)

  • Kansas Smoke Management: Melding Legislation and Production Practices to Preserve Prairie Ecosystems
    - Carol Blocksome, KSU
    Prairie rangelands benefit from fire at intervals, but smoke at concentrated times produces air quality problems. Learn how the Kansas Smoke Management Plan hopes to address both rancher and urban concerns.
    Download Presentation PDF

  • Patch-Burn Grazing the Prairies of Kansas
    - Cade Rensink, KSU
    Patch-burning is a relatively new concept in rangeland management, but mimics the thousands years old patterns of lightening and bison; learn how livestock perform under a PBG system, how rangeland health is impacted, and its value in treating Sericea lespedeza.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 4.3 megs)

  • Bio Char
    - Jeff Schahczenski, NCAT
    Biochar has the potential to produce farm-based renewable energy in a climate-friendly manner and provide a valuable soil amendment to enhance crop productivity.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 6.8 megs)

  • Opportunities for Local and Regional Food in Kansas
    - Scott Allegrucci, KRC Board; Rhonda Janke, KSU; Dan Nagengast, KRC
    Consumer demand for local food continues to increase and many players in the food industry are seeking suppliers. Learn more about the opportunities and challenges of working with grocers, restaurants and institutions.
    Download Allegrucci Presentation PDF (Envisioning a Local Food Economy)
    Download Janke Presentation PDF (Food Systems in Kansas) (large file -  5 megs)


  • Growing Healthy: School and Community Gardens
    - Kirk Cusick, WCFEC; Candice Shoemaker, KSU; Jennifer Smith, KSRE
    Interest in school and community gardens is soaring. Practitioners from across the state will share their experiences in developing, managing and evaluating these gardening programs.
    Download Cusick Presentation PDF (Whispering Cottonwood Farm)  (large file - 1.6 megs)
    Download Shoemaker Presentation PDF (School Gardens) (large file - 1.6 megs)
    Download Smith Presentation PDF (Lawrence Community & Learning Garden)


  • Specialty Crop Insurance
    - Jeff Schahczenski, NCAT
    Crop insurance is a new concept for many specialty crop producers. Learn how you can use this new program to reduce risk for your operations.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 3.5 megs)

  • GAPs–Good Agricultural Practices for Food Safety
    - Pete Garfinkel & Mercedes Taylor-Puckett, KRC
    Pending federal food safety regulations coupled with frequent news coverage of food recalls are motivating many farmers and buyers to seek information on GAPs. We’ll cover the basics and explore how developing a Farm Food Safety Plan could benefit your farm.
    Link to Cornell Intro to GAPs Presentation PDF (large file - 4.3 megs)
    Download Grower Self-Assessment Presentation PDF (large file - 3 megs)


  • Scaling-Up and Diversifying: A Tale of Two Farmers
    - Tom Buller and Jill Elmers, Common Harvest Farms
    Tom and Jill meet the USDA definition of beginning farmers and are decades younger than the average US farmer. Learn about their efforts to supply the Kaw River Valley with diverse specialty crops.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 1.6 megs)

  • Food Policy Councils
    - Eileen Horn, Douglas County Food Policy Council; Barbara LaClair, Kansas Food Security Task Force
    Food Policy Councils bring together stakeholders from diverse food-related sectors to examine how the food system is operating and to develop recommendations on how to improve it. Learn how councils can educate officials and the public, shape public policy, improve coordination between existing programs, and develop new programs.
    Download Presentation PDF (large file - 2.6 megs)

  • Financial and Resource Assistance for Sustainable Ag Farms
    - Karissa Berks, USDA Rural Development; Kerri Ebert, Kansas-SARE
    - Mari Tucker, Kansas Department of Commerce-Rural Development
    Federal and state programs can offer financial help–cost-share, grants, or loans–for some conservation or production related enterprises. Learn what’s what!
    Download USDA RD Presentation PDF (Rural Business Cooperative Loan Program) (large file - 1.3 megs)
    Download KDoC RD Presentation PDF (Value-Added Loan Program)

  • Farm Bill 2012: What Does the Future Hold?
    - Paul Johnson, KRC Board; Troy Schroeder, Kansas Wildlife Foundation; Donn Teske, Kansas Farmers Union
    The 2008 Farm Bill included some positive programs for sustainable agriculture and food security. Join our panel to discuss the next Farm Bill–what to protect, what to change, and how to make it work for our food future.
    Download Presentation PDF (Paul Johnson's)

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Working for Clean Water and Thriving Farms:
Profiles of Farms in the Clean Water Farms Project

Edited by Mary Fund

This report was produced in February 2002 and highlights the efforts of Kansas farmers and ranchers to protect water quality.  The 120 page full color book features 25 of the 36 farmers and ranchers conducting on-farm demonstrations in the Kansas Rural Center "Clean Water Farms Project".  The profiles offer good models or examples of low-cost, management based options for on-farm water quality protection.   A hard copy of the complete report is available for $12.00.  To obtain a copy, call the Kansas Rural Center at 785/873-3431 or email

You may download black & white versions of the farmer and rancher profiles from the report in pdf format here.  Profiles of current participants in the program are on that web page also.

Terry Gompert, of Knox County, Nebraska was the featured presenter at the 2009 Kansas Graziers Association Winter Conference in Assaria, Kansas on January 17. In addition to maintaining his own herd of grass-fed beef, Gompert is a Certified Educator for Holistic Management and a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Educator.

Click here to download the presentation.

Ideas That Make Money for Livestock Producers
(2.5  meg pdf file)

Click here to download the presentation.

Integrating Livestock
and Crops
(7  meg pdf file)

Click here to download the presentation.

Ideas I have learned
from producers
(8  meg pdf file)

Click here to download the presentation.

The Functional Cow
(4.5 meg pdf file)

Click here to download the presentation.

What the Future Holds
for Graziers
(323K pdf file)

Sustainable Agriculture Management Guides

The Kansas Rural Center has published a series of Management Guides on a variety of topics. They are listed below. 
All can be downloaded in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).  Most have a very modest file size, but some are larger and may take a little time to download on a slow connection.



No. of Pages


Cover Crops and Legumes (109K)



Alfalfa (84K)



Hairy Vetch (88K)



Sweetclover (85K)



Red Clover (85K)



Lespedeza (84K)



Austrian Winter Peas (80K)



Cowpeas (79K)



Birdsfoot Trefoil (85K)



Buckwheat (93K)



Rye (73K)



Crop Rotation (177K)



Non-Chemical Weed Mgmt. for Row Crops (137K)



Management Intensive Grazing Resources (112K)



Crabgrass (96K)



Brassicas (103K)



Farmer Clusters (90K)



Marketing Grass-fed Beef (103K)



Marketing Organic Grain (286K)



Direct Marketing Lamb (277K)



Direct Marketing Pasture Poultry Products (297K)


MG6E.1 Romance vs. Reality: Hard Lessons Learned in a Grass-Fed Beef Marketing Cooperative (1,038K) 12
MG7A.1 Risk Management (169K) 5


Game Bird Raising/Hunting Enterprise Budget (39K)



Organic Crop Enterprise Budget (34K)



Pasture Farrow to Finish Hogs Enterprise Budget (33K)



Pasture Poultry Enterprise Budget (43K)



Family Business Meetings (294K)



Preparing to Pass On the Farm to the Kids (140K) 4


Family Farm Business Management Guide (33K) 4


Developing a Mission Statement for Your Farm Management Guide (31K) 5


Marketing the Market (953K) 6


Cooking Demonstrations at Farmers' Markets (925K) 6


Rules, Regulations and Resources for Farmers' Markets in Kansas (REVISED May 2010) (1.3 Megs)

KRC is unable to provide printed copies of this publication at this time. If your market is interested in distributing this document to your vendors, we recommend working with a local copy shop to have black and white copies made. Please direct the copy shop to this page where a high-quality B&W version can be downloaded (6.5 Meg).


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Click here for the interview!

Click the icon for the podcast of KRC's Dan Nagengast
and Katherine Kelly of the Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture
discussing the importance of Farmers' Markets and Community Supported Agriculture.
Original interview by Daniel Dermitzel broadcast September 29, 2008
on KKFI radio in Kansas City.

 NOTE: This is a 5 meg MP3 file.

Cheney Lake Water Quality Project

This free booklet describes on-farm demonstrations and protective farming practices adopted by farmers in the watersheds above Cheney Reservoir, a water supply for the City of Wichita, Kansas.  To obtain a copy, call the Kansas Rural Center at 785/873-3431 or email at

Other Titles

  • Tire Tank for Livestock Watering Installation Guide

  • Blue-green Algae in Farm Ponds
     - from K-State


  • PowerPoint presentation of Rhonda Janke at May 31, 2008 conference on
    "The Future of Food in the Kansas River Valley" in Lawrence, Ks. 3.1 meg pdf file

  • PowerPoint presentation of Scott Allegrucci at May 31, 2008 conference on
    "The Future of Food in the Kansas River Valley" in Lawrence, KS. 5.7 meg pdf file
  • Presentation outline of Ken Meter at May 31, 2008 conference on
    "The Future of Food in the Kansas River Valley" in Lawrence, Ks. (160K)
    For Ken Meter's complete PowerPoint presentation, please click the icon, Click here for the complete presentation.
    but 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.
  • Comments of KRC, the Eastern Kansas Chapter of the Organic Crop Improvement Association, and the Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering re: Ventria's proposal to grow pharmaceutical rice in Kansas
    Ventria Comments - (81K)
  • Click here for the CSP Guide "Farmers' Guide to the New Conservation Stewardship Program"
    by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

  • River Friendly Farm Environmental Assessment Tool
    River Friendly Farms Env. Assessment Tool - (749K)
  • Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group 2004 Membership Directory

Click here to download the directory. - (96K pdf file)

  • Starting a Seasonal Open-Air Market in Kansas
    Written by Claire Homitzky and edited by Jana Beckman

    Click here to download the publication. This publication provides practical information on how to organize a farmers' market. It starts by helping you identify vendors and concludes with a listing of resources. (678K pdf file)

  • Kansas Country Living Guidelines
    Written by Marilyn Eccles, Ann Mayo, Brian Rees and Mary Fund. Edited by Paul Ingle.

    Click here to download the publication. - (845K pdf file) This informative booklet, to which the Rural Center contributed, is written for urban dwellers contemplating a move to the country.  It presents the differences one can expect in everything from roads and floodplain zoning to wildlife and utilities.

  • Renewable Energy Quiz (short version)
    Click here to download the file. Just the basics, handout format (410K pdf file)

  • Renewable Energy Quiz Background Info
    Click here to download the file. Includes references and more extensive text (145K pdf file)

  • August 2007 Farm Tour
    By Jerry Jost.

    Click here to download the file.  This is a photo essay with commentary on the Northeast Kansas Bus Tour of Value-Added Enterprises that the Kansas Rural Center hosted on August 23, 2007. 383K pdf file.

  • Washington County Farm Tour
    by Connie Pantle

Click here to download the file.  This is a photo essay with commentary on the Farm Tour of the Scheer and Zarybnicky Farms in Washington County on August 23, 2007. 1.1 meg pdf file.

  • August 2006 Farm Tour
    By Jerry Jost.

    Click here to download the file.  This is a photo essay with commentary on the Northeast Kansas Bus Tour of Value-Added Enterprises that the Kansas Rural Center hosted on August 30, 2006.
    (NOTE: this is a 4.2 meg pdf file and will take a long time to download on a slow internet connection

  • Subscribing to Change - Starting and Sustaining a Vegetable Subscription Service
    by Jerry Jost

     Click here to download the file. This is the story of what may be the nation's first major Community Supported Agriculture cooperative, The Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance.
    (NOTE: this is an 8.7 meg pdf file and will take a long time to  download on a slow internet connection

  • Oren Long Farm Tour
    by Jerry Jost

Click here to download the file.  This is a virtual farm tour, documenting the visit to Oren Long's farm near Valley Falls, Kansas that the Kansas Rural Center hosted on October 5, 2006. 1.9 meg pdf file.

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