KRC Board of Directors
Rural Center, Inc. (KRC) is a non-profit organization that promotes
the long-term health of the land and its people through research,
education, and advocacy. The KRC cultivates grassroots support
for public policies that encourage family farming and stewardship
of soil and water. KRC is committed to economically viable, environmentally
sound, and socially sustainable rural culture.
the Kansas Rural Center (KRC) has worked to strengthen independent
family farms and rural communities. By promoting sustainable farming
methods, KRC strives to help farmers and rural communities find
information and develop ideas that will lead to an environmentally,
economically, and socially sustainable agriculture.
a future of family farms, revitalized communities, a healthy environment,
a safe regional food system, and people pursuing meaningful livelihoods.
For those who want a future in farming, who care about the environment,
and who care about the source of their food, KRC offers practical
how-to information, and most importantly, hope for a sustainable
KRC, a non-profit,
private organization, is headquartered in Whiting, Kansas, a small
rural community in northeast Kansas. The governing board is
of 17 directors drawn from across the state. Approximately half
of the board members are farmers or ranchers. The others are business
people, educators or community leaders. The full board meets twice
a year. An Executive Committee meets quarterly to develop policy,
direct financial decisions and provide staff oversight. Eleven
staff members and three contract employees carry out board policy
and the work of the Center.
Rural Center is supported by grants from private foundations,
churches, public agencies and institutions, in addition to individual
contributions, subscriptions and sales of publications.
I Get Involved?
Work with the Kansas Rural Center to promote sustainable agriculture,
rural communities, and a healthy environment:
Make a tax-deductible contribution to help continue our
work. We are supported by private foundations, public grants, and
individual contributions. Your generous support is appreciated.
You can donate online using Paypal.
You may also make your donation by dropping us a check in the
Make a check payable to "Kansas Rural Center"
and send it to:
Kansas Rural Center
P.O. Box 133
Whiting, KS 66552
Request a free copy of the Rural Papers, our newsletter, published
6 times each year. We will keep you updated on coming events
such as farm tours, speakers, and workshops. Regular profiles
feature farmers who are successfully integrating a concern for
the environment into their farming operations and who are finding
new ways to market their products.
Subscriptions are $25 per year,
sent to the address above.
Click here to see highlights from our
most recent Newsletter
Click here to request a free copy or call us at
Purchase your own copies of our management guides on a variety
of topics including cover crops, marketing pastured poultry products,
and management intensive grazing. Check our publications page
for prices and ordering information. A number of other publications
are also available.
Click here to see a list of our
Join one of the Heartland Clusters or contact us about starting
a cluster with other farmers in your area. Seed money is available
for cluster development.
here to learn more about the Heartland Network.
an environmental assessment and whole farm plan for your farm or
ranch in our Clean Water Farms-River
Friendly Farm Project. You may qualify for a $250 incentive
payment for completing the RFFP assessment and action plan. And
you may be eligible to apply for up to $5000 in cost-share.
CWF-RFFP is looking for farmers and ranchers in any high priority
watershed and in WRAPS watersheds across the state who are
interested in protecting water quality as they adopt sustainable
farming practices. (WRAPS [Watershed Restoration and
Protection Strategy] is a new state framework for ensuring
stakeholder involvement in the assessment and action planning to
protect or restore watersheds.)
Nagengast's Letter to KRC Constituents
Read Dan Nagengast's departure letter to
Meet the Kansas Rural Center
Julie Mettenburg is
the Executive Director of the Kansas Rural Center. Julie
was raised on a small farm near Princeton, Kansas, in Franklin
County, where she is still active in the day-to-day operations
of grass-finishing and direct marketing beef and other meats
with her parents and siblings. She brings to KRC a background
in small business and nonprofit marketing communications and
management, plus time spent in ag journalism. She began
working with KRC as Kaw River Valley coordinator for Our Local
Food in April 2011, taking on the role of KRC executive
director December 1.
Julie has a master of arts degree in politics from the City
University of New York with a specialty in public policy, and
a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University
of Kansas. She lives in Lawrence with her husband, Peter
Burns, and their two children, who are already involved in
projects as fifth-generation farmers.
Julie Mettenburg - Executive Director - Lawrence
Mary Fund - Communications Director/
Clean Water Farms Project Coordinator, Whiting
Work: 785-873-3431 or Home: 785-939-2032
Mary Fund is
the Project Director for KRC's Clean Water Farm-River Friendly
Farm Project, which provides planning assistance and limited
cost-share to farmers and ranchers wanting to improve water
quality on their farms. She also is the editor of KRC's
newsletter, Rural Papers, and handles KRC's communications
about farm and rural policy issues.
Mary represents KRC on the National
Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and monitors federal farm
policy for KRC. She is one of two staff in the Whiting office, and therefore answers
general questions and inquiries to KRC and points callers to
the right "expert" on or off staff. She and her husband, Ed
Reznicek, and their two children, own and operate a 400 acre
certified organic farm in Nemaha County as 4th generation
family farmers. Mary's personal interests include vegetable
gardening, as well as raising flowers, and reading and
As Administrator, Diane
Dysart manages KRC’s
financial resources, budgets and bookkeeping files. She also
tracks mailing lists and contribution records. Diane and her
husband, Fred have three children, eight horses, and three
dogs and live in rural Netawaka.
Diane Dysart - Administrator - Whiting
Dale Kirkham - Clean
Water Farms Field Organizer
Work/Home: 620-583-5247 or Cell: 620-344-0202
Dale Kirkham assists farmers and ranchers in SE and SC
Kansas with the Clean Water Farm-River Friendly Farm Project self-assessment and
projects that improve water quality and related natural
resources on their land. His special interests include
livestock and grazing management, protection of native
prairies, and wildflower identification. He and his wife Nancy
operate a small ranch in the southern Flint Hills where they
raise registered Brangus cattle.
Cole Cottin, Lawrence, Local Foods
Cole obtained a BA in Anthropology from University of
California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She spent a year volunteering
at UCSC’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
that serves as an agricultural research and training facility.
In 2009, Cole co-managed Virginia-based local foods
distributor Good Food Good People’s CSA, serving restaurants
and retail outlets in southwest Virginia. In 2010, Cole
returned to Lawrence with her husband, Dan Phelps, and the two
founded MAD Farm. MAD Farm produces garden starts and annual
fruits and vegetables on several leased plots around Lawrence.
Cole and her husband are members of Growing Lawrence and
regularly participate in farm-to-school activities to help
educate young folks about where food comes from. Cole loves
nutritious, whole foods and takes great pride in her
involvement with the rising local foods movement in our
beloved “Sunflower State” – home to some of the best soils on
Mary Howell - Clean Water Farms Field Organizer, Frankfort
Work/Home:785-292-4955 or Cell: 785-562-8726
|Mary Howell works is
a field organizer for the Clean Water Farm-River Friendly Farm
Project. Mary and her husband, Dan, raise cattle. They
were early cooperators with this project. Finding this project
useful to their own farm, Mary now helps other farmers
complete the River Friendly Farm assessment and make plans to
improve the water quality on their farms. Mary is very active
with the Kansas Graziers Association, 4-H and her local county
fair. Mary and Dan have one daughter, Ashley.
grew up in northeast Nebraska where h r work in the family
garden was a great influence on her interests in food and
agriculture today. After obtaining a B.S. in Horticulture at
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she jumped into the
Master’s program where she worked as a graduate assistant
through the Nebraska Rural Initiative. Her graduate project
focused on the use of high tunnels and the economics of being
able to produce profitably while selling locally. Natalie
received her MS in Public Horticulture Administration in May
2010. Natalie joined KRC’s Our Local Food Program in early
2011 after moving to Wichita, Ks. with her husband. She is
excited to be a part of the local food movement in Kansas.
Natalie Fullerton, South Central OLF Regional coordinator
Kansas Rural Center Board
of Directors, 2013
Paul Ingle, Topeka - President
Laura Fortmeyer, Fairview - Vice-President
Wayne White, Treasurer
Paul Ingle, Bob & Joy Lominska,
Marjorie Van Buren, Wayne White
Ben Champion, Manhattan
Bob and Joy Lominska, Lawrence
Neilson Meriwether, Onaga
Stu Shafer, Oskaloosa
Maria Stewart and Rick Boller, Lebanon
Lucinda Stuenkel, Palmer
Marjorie Van Buren, Topeka
How to Join and Donate
Who We Are Projects Calendar
& News Policy & Advocacy
Heartland Network Kansas
Food Policy Council Clean
Water Farms Project Links Home
2010, Kansas Rural Center. All rights reserved.
Questions about the KRC website may be directed to the