North Central Kansas Food Council

The North Central Kansas Food Council is made up of a diverse group of public and private stakeholders in a collaborative effort to advocate for enhanced quality of life for all residents through sustainable access to regionally produced food options, economic opportunity, and educational recourses.  The group met for the first time in February 2017 and encompasses all 12 counties in the NCRPC primary service area including Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Marshall, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline, and Washington.


The mission of the Council is to advocate for enhanced quality of life for all residents through sustainable access to regional produced food options, economic opportunity, and educational resources.


Aaron Floresch, Ray’s Apple Market, Clay County
Lance Nobert, Elk State Bank and Loveland Farms, Cloud County
Julie Roller, Abilene Convention/Visitors Bureau, Dickinson Co
Ashley Svaty, a Post Rock Extension Agent, Ellsworth County
Jennifer Simmelink, Farmer-Rancher, Jewell County
Gaylene Zier-Ryan, Registered Dietician, Lincoln Co Health Dept
Ellen Barber; Marshall County Partnership for Growth, Marshall County
Greg Renter, producer and Aware NCK, Mitchell County
Deanna Betts, Ottawa County
Chris or Christi Janssen, C and C High Tunnels, Republic County
Brenda Gutierrez, Salina Area United Way and Live Well Saline, Saline County
Currently Vacant, Washington County


  • Increase access to affordable, nutritious and safe food;
  • Enhance economic development and strengthen local food systems;
  • Bring stakeholders together and provide mechanisms for seeking advice and expertise;
  • Effect improvement in the health and well-being of all residents;
  • Encourage means for small business expansion and or development;
  • Partner with existing programs in North Central Kansas and state food policy organizations;
  • Facilitate educational opportunities;
  • Establish an online presence to educate and connect stakeholders;
  • Assess and prioritize the needs of the local food system.


The North Central Kansas Food Council was formed as an initiative of Live Well Saline County and the North Central Regional Planning (NCRPC) and is supported by Advancing Rural Prosperity, Inc. (ARPI) through its joint partnership with the NCRPC to advance food system development in North Central Kansas. Live Well Saline County is dedicated to improving health and wellness for Saline County, Kansas. The NCRPC is committed to advancing rural Kansas through comprehensive planning and development services. ARPI, a major contributor in establishing and growing the regional food system in Northwest Kansas, brings that expertise to the central region of the state.

The Council also wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Missty Lechner from the American Heart Association and the Kansas Alliance for Wellness.


For more information, visit the NCK Food Council Facebook page or contact Emily Benedick, NCRPC Community Development Representative.