Kansas Wesleyan University is entering into a partnership to explore potential sites for a local farm-to-institution production facility.
According to the school, Rodale Institute, a global research and education nonprofit, is joining forces with KWU and Quail Creek Family Farms (QCFF) to grow education programming in Kansas focused on regenerative organic farming models. Priorities for the organizations include developing an accredited Kansas-based Rodale Institute Farmer Training (RIFT) program, establishing a Rodale Institute Regional Resource Center in Salina, Kansas and exploring potential sites for a local farm-to-institution production facility.
“Rodale Institute is committed to expanding opportunities for the next generation of American farmers and investing in the nation’s farming communities,” said Rodale Institute CEO Jeff Moyer. “Through this joint effort, Rodale Institute, Kansas Wesleyan University and Quail Creek Family Farms will build a pipeline of farmers skilled in regenerative organic agricultural practices and establish a hub for agriculture education and innovation in Kansas.”
“A partnership with a global leader that has a 75-year commitment to regenerative organic agriculture will enable our Community Resilience Hub to provide the highest level of research and programming available in the industry,” said Matt Thompson, Ph.D., president and CEO of Kansas Wesleyan. “We are honored to work alongside Rodale and thrilled to embark on a new and deeper relationship with JRI Hospitality. It is exciting to imagine what our three organizations can do to harness the health and safety of our land, food systems and community.”
“We’re so excited to have Rodale Institute as a partner along with Kansas Wesleyan. Both are leaders in what they do and how they treat the communities they serve,” said QCFF owner, Jason Ingermanson. “When taking over Ingermanson Farms from my dad in 2015, I recognized the direction farming was going and the added importance of how our future food is grown, distributed, and presented to the families that we feed. I’m excited to collaborate and work with other area family farms to introduce the idea of incorporating these practices and becoming a part of our distribution for the betterment of both the farmer and consumer of Kansas farm commodities.”
The Rodale Institute Regional Resource Center in Salina, Kansas will be the Institute’s sixth regional center in the United States. The Institute’s local extensions serve farmers in select geographical areas by conducting practical research on local soil and crops, providing education programming and assisting farmers with regionally significant challenges.
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Photo via Kansas Wesleyan:
(Pictured from left to right) Jeff Tkach, incoming CEO and current chief impact officer of Rodale Institute, Jason Ingermanson, president and CEO of JRI Hospitality, Jeff Moyer, CEO of Rodale Institute, and Matt Thompson, Ph.D., president and CEO of Kansas Wesleyan University, photographed after a signing ceremony at Rodale Institute’s Kutztown, Pennsylvania campus on April 4, 2023.