About the Food and Farm Council
The purpose of the Food and Farm Council is to advocate for and sustain an accessible, healthy, and local food system. The Food and Farm Council of Riley County and the City of Manhattan, Kansas envisions a local food system that supports healthy living in our community. To accomplish this the Council must:
  • 1
    Identify and prioritize needs and make recommendations that promote, support, and strengthen access to local, healthy, safe, affordable food
  • 2
    Educate and advise the City/County Commissions on local food system needs
  • 3
    Provide a forum for local food issues and a platform for coordinated actions to create a more healthful food system

Our Circle of Concern

  1. Food Insecurity
  2. Food Waste (prevention, recovery, composting, and advocacy for related solid waste reduction)
  3. Education (food safety, food skills, nutrition education)

How do we do our work?

We have over 50 partners involved on our three Circle of Concern Community Action Teams (CATs). Together we work to create solutions that would be too hard to accomplish independently.

Council Goals

  • Serve as a city- and county-appointed council of community members to strengthen communication, education, and policy within the food system.
  • Make local and healthy food options more available, accessible, and affordable.
  • Support education of growing, choosing, and preparing nutritious foods.
  • Improve health outcomes through the reduction of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity.

Meet the Council Members

  • Vickie James
    Council Coordinator
  • Josh Brewer
    Marketing/Communications (City)
  • David Procter
    KSU/At-Risk Populations (City)
  • Sharolyn Jackson
    Research and Extension/Health (County)
  • John Green
    Retail/Institutional Food/Waste Management (County)
  • Maureen Olewnik
    KSU/Small Agriculture/Food Industry (County)
  • Carol Barta
    Food Production/Renewable Energy (County)
  • Shanika Rose
    County Staff Liaison
  • Adrian Self
    KSU/At-Risk Populations (City)
  • Stephanie Smith
    Schools/Institutional Food Purchasing (City)
  • Andrea DeJesus
    Small Scale Agriculture/Farm-to-Plate (County)
  • Mary Mertz
    Rural (County)
  • Kirsten Spear
    Food Retail/Chamber of Commerce/Waste Management (City)
  • Jacquie Mack
    Seniors/At-Risk Populations (County)
  • Kate LaRosh
    KSU Student Representative (County)
  • Michael Wilson
    At-Risk/Retail/Transportation (City)
  • Megan Dougherty
    Nutrition/Food Safety/Health (County)
  • Elias Martinson
    City Staff Liaison
  • Julie Gibbs
    County Staff Liaison

Council Membership Requirements

  • Members shall have expertise in relevant fields, and to the extent possible, represent the diversity of the community in aspects such as culture, gender, age, and geography. Priority will be given to applicants who live or work in the City of Manhattan, Riley County, and adjoining counties.

  • The 15-member Council will have six City appointees and nine County appointees. If you would like to serve as a member of the Council please review which stakeholder group you would like to represent and go to the City or County web page to fill out an interest form.