Final Kansas Rural Center “Ideas Into Action” Workshop to be Held in Manhattan on September 24
Kansans interested in effecting positive change in their communities are encouraged to register now to attend the Kansas Rural Center’s final “Ideas Into Action” workshop, a free event happening in Manhattan, Kansas, on Thursday, September 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Manhattan Public Library. This non-partisan workshop aims to inspire and activate public action around issues that matter to Kansans. The event includes interactive advocacy training, and an opportunity to learn about a range of groups working to support farms and improve health locally and statewide. Lunch will be provided by 4 Olives.
A detailed agenda of the day and registration information for this event is available online at: kansasruralcenter.org/ideas-into-action-registration.
This Manhattan event is the final of four workshops in KRC’s Feeding Kansas: Ideas Into Action series. The workshop will feature presentations and an opportunity to dialogue with guest speakers working on the frontlines of positive change, for the good of the Kansas food system. After a wholesome lunch, several concurrent sessions will provide participants with strategic advocacy tools and tactics for raising awareness and creating change around the issues that matter to them.
Morning presentations and panelists include:
- Jessica Fiscus – Riley County Health Department, Health Educator. Fiscus will share stories about the food access environment and food-related health issues she sees in her work in Riley County. She will also discuss the political climate that shapes her work;
- Loren Swenson – Owner of Prairie Produce, farmer, and member of the statewide Local Food and Farm Task Force. Swenson will discuss his farm operation and food business, and how he has been able to navigate the policy environment and ensure that he and others can make a living at both. He will share stories about his experience as a member of the governor-appointed Local Food and Farm Task Force that formed in 2014;
- Representative Adam Lusker – State Representative, District 2, and member of the statewide Local Food and Farm Task Force. Lusker will reveal how connecting with individuals and listening to their stories has influenced his work as a legislator. He will also describe what’s happening with the governor-appointed Local Food and Farm Task Force, whose recommendations to the legislature are due this year;
- Missty Lechner – Kansas Alliance for Wellness, Project Director. Lechner will talk about the power of community coalitions, where and how they are forming across Kansas, and what types of changes those coalitions have already made in their regions;
- Cole Cottin – Kansas Rural Center, Advocacy Coordinator. Cottin will discuss the goals outlined in KRC’s Feeding Kansas report and how participants can help make those goals a reality this year, and beyond. A summary of the report will be provided. The full report can be found at: http://kansasruralcenter.org/feeding-kansas/.
Afternoon concurrent sessions include:
- How to Have a Voice in Politics: Leveraging Local Coalitions to Bring about Change – Missty Lechner of the Kansas Alliance for Wellness will share information on what it takes to pull together a task force or council to empower community members to shape local policy. Participants will then be supported by Missty, KRC staff, and others in the room, as they brainstorm how to cultivate or strengthen coalitions in their own unique location and situation.
- Strategic Communication with Decision-Makers – Participants will learn to identify which decision-maker(s) have power to change a particular issue, and how best to approach the target decision-maker(s) to persuade them towards their cause. Representative Lusker will be present to share his perspective as an insider. (Other policymakers are encouraged to attend!)
- Communicating with the Media – Katie Allen, Communications Specialist, K-State Research and Extension, will discuss strategies for communicating effectively with reporters so that their intended message comes across clearly, how to get the media to cover an important issue or event, and tips for writing an impactful “op-ed.”
The Manhattan workshop will be preceded by a separate “Ideas into Action” workshop the day before, on September 23, at the El Dorado Civic Center in El Dorado, Kansas. KRC welcomes participants in both. Two previous workshops in the series were held last month in Colby and Dodge City.
“Ideas Into Action” workshop registration is available at kansasruralcenter.org/ideas-into-action-registration.
Questions about KRC’s “Ideas Into Action” workshop series may be directed towards Natalie Fullerton, KRC Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 579-5469.