I was in Wichita yesterday at the Women Managing the Farm Conference and it is always good to visit with other Agra Women. I was invited as a speaker and shared some information about a I project I have worked in over the past three years that looked at local foods as a means to create rural economic development. I had a blast sharing our story but also I was impressed with the number of Agra Women participating in other sessions on organics and small farm operations who understand our farm communities are healthiest with a nice balance of large and small farms. I sincerely appreciated the interest and support offered by Frontier Farm Credit. Their partnership was one I enjoyed when our project was forming and their desire to see Kansas find its opportunity to rebuild our rural communities through increased diversification in agriculture is impressive. I was also able to run into a friend Rhonda Junke with Kansas State Research and Extension. She is a fountain of information related to organic methods. Both of us added our first high tunnel in 2011 and it was nice to hear her experiences. We both agree the creation of the high tunnel was a wonderful thing.
In all of this I have come to realize that building coalitions dedicated to improving the economic outlook in rural areas is something many of us are trying to figure out. I have also been asked by several groups to offer what we have learned through consulting opportunities!