May 3, 2012


Meet Brandi Swiler: New Southeast OLF Chapter Coordinator

Welcome to Brandi Swiler, the new Southeast Kansas Chapter Coordinator for the KRC's Our Local Food program. The Southeast region encompasses 12 counties - from Franklin and Miami in the north to Labette and Cherokee in the south, and west to Wilson and Montgomery counties

Brandi works with See-Kan Resource Conservation and Development Inc., a non-profit administering a variety of programs in 11 counties in the Southeast Region, ranging from mining reclamation to water management to feeding the hungry. Brandi's interest in rural economic development meshes tightly with the aims of the Our Local Food program.

Brandi attended public schools in Chanute and earned a BA from Ottawa University. She lives with her husband Richard and their two children in Thayer, Kansas.

Savor the Season Cost-Shares and Mini-Grants Announced

Sixteen farmers markets in Kansas (listed below), received funding for Savor the Season (StS) promotional events in 2012. Awards ranged from $155 to $400 for a total of $4,100, with $8,700 committed in matching funds by participating markets. 

The purpose of the Savor the Season program (StS) is to increase the production and sales of non-com-modity crops in Kansas. The StS Cost-Share and Mini-Grants will help to fund educational events and pro-motions held at farmers markets throughout the State. These events are designed to expose consumers to the broad variety of food and horticultural crops produced by Kansas growers.

The following markets are recipients of the 2012 mini-grants and cost-share grants: Allen County, Atchison, Basehor, Cottin's Hardware, Delano Community, Emporia, Glasco,Inde-pendence Downtown, KCK Green Market: Catholic Charities, KCK Green Market: Strawberry Hill, Leavenworth, Marysville, Normandie, Oberlin, Paola, and Rosedale.

The Savor the Season program is funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Grant through a sub-award from the Kansas Department of Agriculture. 

Our Local Food Website Breaks Ground 

So many factors influence the germination of a seed, and the germination of a website is no different. Its fitting that Our Local Food is working with Sprout Design on a new website project, for indeed and at last, the site has sprouted.

On April 2nd, opened for the registration of Kansas farmers markets. An announcement was sent [via Constant Contact] to 95 farmers markets across the state, and as of Friday, April 6, eight markets had registered. As with any opening, there are always a few glitches, but overall the site is off to a good start.

The next step is the registration of food businesses--grocers, restaurants, processors, retailers and wholesalers--followed by producers and farms. After that, the consumers, our Vocal Locals, join in.

Eventually, the website will develop into an online food hub, linking producers, markets, businesses and consumers, and providing producer and business profiles, local news and stories, event listings, recipes and educational resources and links.

While the new site is still being built, you can also visit the current website at http://www.ourlocal for plenty of information about the OLF chapters and local food in Kansas.

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