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 resources. 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.
Regional Food System Assessment
Healthy and robust community food systems help to support and sustain healthy communities and strong local economies. In 2017-2018 the North Central Kansas Food Council contracted with an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the North Central Kansas regional food system to better understand current strengths and gaps. The North Central Kansas Regional Food System Assessment summarizes those results. Reports were also prepared for each of the 12 counties in the North Central Kansas Food Council.
Click to view the county assessments.
Brenda Gutierrez – Saline County
Live Well Saline County/Salina Area United Way
Ellen Barber – Marshall County
Marshall County Partnership for Growth
Jennifer Simmelink – Jewell County
Aaron Floresch – Clay County
Ray’s Apple Market
Brad and Jandee Pyle – Clay County
Cloud County – Seat currently vacant
Renae Riedy – Dickinson County
Dickinson County Extension; Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
Ellsworth County – Seat currently vacant
Ashley Svaty – Lincoln/Ellsworth County
Post Rock Extension District; Nutrition, Food Safety & Health Agent
Gaylene Zier – Lincoln County
Lincoln County Health Department
Greg Renter – Mitchell County
Leah Robinson – Ottawa County
Central Kansas Extension District; Nutrition, Food Safety, & Health Agent
Luke Mahin – Republic County
Republic County Economic Development
Sonia Cooper – Washington County
River Valley Extension District; Foods, Nutrition & Health Agent
- 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.
This map of Kansas Food and Farm Councils is provided courtesy of the Kansas Alliance for Wellness.
Click here to view a presentation from the Kansas Rural Center 2017 Food and Farm Conference.