February saw Donn jetting off to Minneapolis for a meeting of the North Central SARE Advisory Committee. The committee made final selections for awards in the Farmer Rancher and the Youth Educator grant programs.

Mercedes took part in the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s IRS Tax Workshop for Small and Medium-Sized Nonprofit Organizations at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in March. With the changes to the KFU foundation, the board and staff are proactively reviewing best practices for 501(c)(3) management.

Fresh off the train from Santa Fe, Nick and Mary jumped right into the swing of things and participated in the second Big Rural Brainstorm in Newton on March 14. This Kansas Sampler Foundation event contributes inspiration and networking towards KFU’s emphasis on strong, vibrant rural communities.

Nick headed to Topeka for the Kansas Sampler Foundation’s 2014 Power Up Day at the Capitol on April 1. The group met with Gov. Brownback to discuss issues and challenges facing the younger generation moving to and living in Kansas.

Earlier this month Mary attended the Women in Agriculture Educators National Conference in Indianapolis. This conference supports Mary’s work with the Amazing Grazing Project and will improve the quality, and expand the evaluation, of all KFU events.

Upon her return from Indiana, Mary attended the Kansas Rural Center’s Tunnel to Table workshop in Lawrence. Focused on season extension techniques for specialty crop production, the workshop will contribute to KFU’s efforts with local food and beginning farmers.

On April 10, Donn participated in a meeting seeking consensus on a set of standards aimed at protecting farm data privacy. Attended by executives from equipment maker John Deere, seed companies Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer and other farm products companies, and representatives from key U.S. crop producer groups, this was the first of what could be several meetings aimed at securing industry standards on farm data.

Dr. Vandana Shiva was in KC this month for several events attended by Mercedes. Dr. Shiva, a physicist, ecologist, activist and author, challenged participants to keep reaching across sectors, disciplines, and communities as we grow our regional food systems.