Providing Healthy Food Access to Rural America
Fifth National Rural Grocery Summit
Hyatt Regency
Wichita, Kansas
June 6-7, 2016

Rural Grocery Initiative


June 6, 2016


8:30 – 9:30 a.m.         Registration / Check-in

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.       Welcome / Opening Keynote

  • Welcome
  • Opening Keynote: “Making a Difference through the Rural Grocery Initiative” – Dr. David Procter, Director, Center for Engagement and Community Development, Kansas State University


10:30 – 10:45 a.m.      Break

10:45 – Noon                Breakout Sessions

#1:  Accessing Funds for Your Rural Grocery Store

Moderator:  Donna Schenck-Hamlin


#2: Business Transition: Succession Planning

Moderator:  Nancy Daniels


#3: Conducting Community Food Assessments

Moderator:  Kolia Souza


Noon – 1:30 p.m.       Lunch / Keynote

  • Rural Grocery Store Awards: Ron Wilson (Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development)
  • Luncheon Keynote: “10 Years of Being America’s Youngest Grocer: Growing a Business and Sales in a Declining Area” – Nick Graham (Rural Grocery Store Owner)

Nick Graham grew up outside of Truman, Minnesota and bought his first grocery store while a 17-year-old senior at Truman High School.  When presented with a fantastic buyout offer, he sold it and moved to Rolfe, Iowa and bought another grocery store.  Nick currently owns and operates three supermarkets and one hardware store, as well as wholesales groceries to a number of other stores and institutional customers.  Nick will speak about the challenges and opportunities of operating rural grocery stores in a declining area.

1:45 – 3:00 p.m.         Breakout Sessions

#4: Understanding Rural Grocery Owner Challenges / Customer Needs

Moderator:  Hikaru Peterson


#5: Aggregating Food Operations: Food Hubs

Moderator:  Eileen Horn


#6: Accessing Funds for Your Rural Grocery Store

Moderator:  Tina Khan


3:00 – 3:15 p.m.         Break

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.         Breakout Sessions

#7: Innovative Models of Rural Grocery Operations

Moderator:  Nancy Daniels

  • Farmhouse Market: A Small Market that’s Big on Technology – Kendra Rasmusson (New Prague, MN.)
  • “The Butter Churn: Providing Real Food When Your Customers Just Want Cheez Whiz” – Stephanie Freeman (Woodhull, IL.)
  • “Hospitals and Grocery Stores Collaborating for Healthy Food Access” – Brian Dolezal (Clara’s Corner Café, Hoisington, KS.)


#8: Encouraging Rural Customers to Shop Healthy

Moderator:  Ron Wilson


#9: Increasing Healthy Food Options for Rural and Diverse Populations

Moderator:  Shannon Martin

  • Maine Healthy General Stores (Healthy Small Stores in Rural Communies)” – Daniel Wallace (Coastal Enterprises Inc.), Sandie Dubay (Healthy Acadia), The Food Trust
  • “Increasing Food Options for a Diversifying Population: When Tortilla Chips are Not Enough” – Jon Wolseth, Lisa Bates (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)


Dinner break on your own

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.    Evening Reception (Please join us for an evening of light hors d’oeuvres and networking at the Wichita Boathouse, located at 515 S. Wichita!)

June 7, 2016

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.     Light Continental Breakfast (pastries, fruit, juice, coffee)

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.     Opening Keynote: “What I Learned about Rural Grocery Stores by Visiting Towns Across Kansas” – Marci Penner (Kansas Sampler Foundation)

9:15 – 10:30 a.m.   Breakout Sessions

#10: Strengthening Access to Healthy Foods

Moderator:  Kolia Souza

  • “Examining the Impact of Food Deserts and Food Imbalance in Rural America” – Mari Gallagher (Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group)
  • Can Walking and Biking Help Sustain Rural Grocery Stores? – Marisa Jones (Safe Routes to School)
  • “A Case Study of Strategies to Increase Grocery Sales” – Dr. Hikaru Peterson (University of Minnesota)


#11: Rural Grocery Best Practices

Moderator:  Tina Khan


#12: Food Distribution: Challenges and Solutions

Moderator:  Elizabeth Burger


10:30 – 10:45 a.m.    Break

10:45 a.m. – Noon    Breakout Sessions

#13:  Policies to Strengthen Healthy Food Access 

Moderator:  Leslie Wilson


#14:  Mapping Food Access

Moderator:  Tina Khan

  • “The Health of Healthy Food Access” – Pat Rissler (Sociology Graduate Student)


#15: Increasing Healthy Food Access in Your Community

Moderator:  Kolia Souza


12:15 – 12:45 p.m.    Closing with Box Lunch Provided