In June 1984, communities in northeast Kansas were devastated by a 100-year flood. As the waters receded, an official from Washington, D.C., visited to survey the damage. One community’s residents explained that if structures had been in place upstream, the town could have been saved many hours of shoveling mud.
The official looked up and down the small town’s picturesque Main Street and said he didn’t see that there was much worth saving.
Nearly half of Kansas counties contain USDA-designated food desert communities. Source: USDA
As the farm economy has changed over the past century, consolidating and reducing rural population, it’s become increasingly clear that if rural Kansas is going to survive, we’re on our own to figure out how.
So, from its beginning, the Kansas Rural Center has worked to identify, examine and address the issues affecting our family farms, rural communities, and our lower-income citizens and seniors. We help communities advocate on their own behalf and address the social, economic and political issues that shape their environment. We have worked for many years to develop local and regional food systems that will endure long past the “go big or go home” farm paradigm.
Parents of 1 in 4 Kansas children don’t know where their family’s next meal is coming from. Source: Kansas Health Institute
Advocating for Our Food Consumers and Communities:
- KRC helps grow a local and regional food system that increases opportunities for farmers, ranchers and citizens, including value-added food businesses, farmers markets and farm to school.
- KRC advocates for policies that preserve local control and healthy practices in our food and farming system.
- KRC helps build community-farm connections across Kansas, for the health of our farms, our land, and our people.
Based in Whiting, pop. 200, KRC staff and board represent a number of interests and communities around the state. KRC projects have been instrumental in growing farmers markets around our state, cultivate local farm opportunities, helping farms and communities solve problems in the local food supply chain, and bringing nutrition programs together with our farmers.