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Kansas Rural Center to celebrate 40 years at annual conference
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TOPEKA –  The Kansas Rural Center will celebrate 40 years of work for a more sustainable food and farming future as part of its annual Farm & Food Conference Nov. 8 and 9 at the Drury Plaza Hotel at 400 West Douglas Wichita. A special reception with Kansas food, beer and wine will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday evening, Nov. 8 in the River View room at the hotel. 

Full conference registration or registration for either day includes the evening celebration on Friday. Non-conference goers can also attend at a special rate of $40 for 40 Years. Pre-register at 

Annie Wilson, former KRC board member also known as the “Flint Hills Balladeer” and the Tallgrass Express will provide background music starting at 5:30 p.m. plus a concert from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There’ll be plenty of space to enjoy visiting with old friends while enjoying good food and drink.

Friends and current and past KRC board members and staff will provide a short program, “Looking Back but Moving Forward” which will include comments about KRC’s achievements on food and farm issues and future plans.

“KRC has been a leader in addressing sustainable agriculture, food system and energy issues,” stated Mary Fund, current Executive Director. “The evening celebration is an opportunity to come together with old friends, meet new ones, and see what has changed over time. New energies have emerged as concerns about the challenges facing us have grown, as has support for sustainable food and energy systems.” 

The full conference will feature two distinguished keynote presenters this year, Fred Iutzi, President of The Land Institute in Salina and Becca Jablonski, Colorado State University’s Food Systems Extension Economist. Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rodgers will also speak on Saturday, Nov. 9.  Keynote presenters and breakout sessions will illustrate the theme, “Planting Ideas, Growing Our Future: Carbon, Climate and Communities.”  New this year will be a Special Land/Farm Owner and Land Seeker Mixer held as one of the workshop sessions on Friday afternoon from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Special registration for this workshop is available at the Conference Registration site.

Registration for the full conference is $75 per day or $145 for both days. Register for all conference events by Nov. 4.  Conference scholarships are also available for students and beginning farmers. Inquire at