Kansas Rural Center to Host Annual Farm & Food Conference in Wichita
The Kansas Rural Center will host its annual Farm and Food Conference November 8 and 9, 2019, at the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview in Wichita. The conference will feature keynote speakers and educational workshops each day that focus on strengthening community resiliency, the health of the environment, practical farm management, and food and farm policy. This year marks KRC’s 40th anniversary, and a special reception will celebrate the occasion.
“While this year marks a special anniversary, we must continue taking action towards our vision of an ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially just food and farm system for healthy rural and urban communities and meaningful livelihoods for all Kansans,” states Natalie Fullerton, KRC’s Assistant Director. “So, while we will celebrate the past this year, our conference theme will focus on the future through the lens of “Planting Ideas, Growing Our Future.”
Keynote speakers joining the conference and 40th Anniversary celebration include Fred Iutzi, President of The Land Institute in Salina, KS, and Becca Jablonski, Colorado State University’s Food Systems Extension Economist. On Friday Nov. 8, Fred Iutzi will speak on “Agriculture’s Role in Ecological Sustainability and Economic Justice.” Iutzi will tackle the emerging political and practical opportunities and needs for serious discussion of social justice and sustainability, especially within food and farming systems.
On the second day, Becca Jablonski will share a vision of “Bridging the Urban/Rural Divide through Local/Regional Food Systems.” Jablonski, a contributor to the recently published Federal Reserve Banks’s “Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities,” will address community organizing to bridge the urban/rural divide through local/regional food systems and planning for the future.
In addition to these dynamic keynote speakers, each day will also feature up to 12 breakout sessions with a focus on building resilience and diversity on our farms and in our communities. These will include practical sessions on food production, marketing, and business planning, farm transition options for the next generation, conservation and soil health practices and management, and sessions on state public policy, climate and agriculture, renewable energy, food access, community and civic organizing efforts in Kansas, community diversity, and more.
A special 40th Anniversary reception, open to non-conference goers as well, will be held Friday evening to honor KRC’s past work and accomplishments with networking, music and food grown by Kansas farmers.
Call for Sponsors
Registration is now open for conference sponsorships. Several options are available for sponsors to share their organization or business with conference attendees. Each year the conference is attended by farmers and ranchers, community leaders, local food advocates, and others interested in establishing a diversified farming system and vital local and regional food system feeding a forward-thinking urban/rural Kansas.
Sponsorships allows KRC to plant ideas and grow a strong farm and food future by producing a conference complete with renowned speakers, diverse workshops, exhibits, locally sourced food and other opportunities that create a positive, meaningful experience for conference participants. Sponsorship levels start at $100.
Early bird registration to attend the two-day conference is available at $70 per day or $135 for both days until Sept. 15. After that registration will be $75 per day or $145 for both days. The Friday evening (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) 40th Anniversary celebration with an extended hors d’oeuvres buffet, Kansas beer and wine, and music is also open to non-conference goers for $40 for 40 Years. For more information visit kansasruralcenter.org/2019-conference. Or call 866-579-5469 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.