Registration open for Kansas Farm-to-Fork Summits in Concordia & Colby
The Kansas Rural Center invites Kansans across the state who are interested in growing policy and advocacy support for farms, food, and communities to attend Farm-to-Fork Summits in Concordia or Colby this month. The summits will take place in Concordia on June 24 at the American Legion, 506 Washington St., and in Colby on June 25 at the Colby Community Building basement, 285 E. 5th. Both events will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend one or both meetings.
These two summits finish up a four-part series of meetings across the state that seek to provide information and acquire feedback on specific policies that could help shape the future for increased healthy food production and access in Kansas. The first summit, held in Greensburg, Kansas, focused on community food and water policy while the second, held in Iola, Kansas, focused on food policy council development.
The full-day summits in Concordia and Colby will provide the opportunity for participants to network with others who share similar interests or concerns for their farms and communities, learn about local and state policy and advocacy for community food and health, and share and take back ideas to their own communities.
Each day will be focused on understanding specific policies that will help our state’s farmers help make healthful foods, especially fruits and vegetables, the easy, accessible, affordable choice for all Kansans. Key themes among the summits will include cooperative, farmers market and value added processing development and their effect on local farm and economic development as well as the health of Kansans.
Represented at each summit will be a panel of Kansas farmers growing and marketing in the region, health professionals, Extension, and other community experts. Panelists will tell the story of the regional food system and community health, which will set the stage for late morning and early afternoon dialogue from participants about challenges in their specific regions.
Jane Marshall, Instructor for Hospitality Management and Dietetics in the College of Human Ecology at K-State and Author of “Teatime to Tailgates” will be the featured guest speaker in Concordia, June 24. Jane will speak about the culture of food and farms in Kansas and our food rich heritage. Her book features stories and recipes dating from 1863 to 2013.
Chris Sramek, co-founder of the High Plains Food Coop, an online food purchasing cooperative that sources from Kansas farms and serves primarily the Denver metro area, will speak to meeting participants in Colby, June 25. Chis will provide insight into the development of the cooperative, the challenges faced along the way and future opportunities.
Afternoon roundtables will encourage discussion and feedback around specific policy levers. This information will be used to help KRC develop policy priorities that will be included in a Statewide Farm and Food Assessment and Policy Recommendations publication that will be completed later this year.
Registration for each summit is $15 per person, which includes lunch. Each lunch will feature ingredients from local farms.
These summits are part of the Kansas Rural Center’s “Community Food Solutions for a Healthier Kansas” initiative that will seek to advance the farm-to-fork food system across the state during the next three years. This year KRC and its partners will help develop the Statewide Farm-to-Fork Assessment and Policy Recommendations. The Assessment and Recommendations will be used as a tool to help identify specific barriers, opportunities and policies needed to advance the farm-to-fork vision identified by state, regional, and local grassroots constituents working in all realms of the food system.