Voter forums will be held in Norton and Cimarron Aug. 14-15

Kansans are encouraged to attend the upcoming western Kansas “Voting for the Future: Dinner & Dialogue” forums, a free dinner and program organized by the Kansas Rural Center. The forums will take place on Aug. 14, at the newly renovated Heaton Building located at 107 S. State Street in Norton and Aug. 15 at the Senior Center located at 221 S Main Street in Cimarron.

At both events, a complementary dinner featuring locally sourced ingredients will be available starting at 5:00 pm with the program following. Registration is required in order to ensure an accurate count for dinner. Please register no later than Aug. 10 at

State and local experts will provide Kansans with information on federal and state level food and farm policy and action within the broader context of state budget and revenue issues. Scott Sproul, executive director of the Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center, and others will speak at the Norton forum regarding local and regional level works to strengthen community access to food, resources for farmers and other critical efforts. In Cimarron, Kendal Carswell with the Kearny County Hospital and Lona Duvall with Finney County Economic Development are a few of those working locally to address challenges like food access and engaging the immigrant and migrant communities and will be on hand to discuss their activities.

The forums will also provide the opportunity for round table dialogue to reach deeper into food and farm system issues, learn about the questions important to ask candidates this summer and fall, how to mobilize your community to vote, and other common interest topics critical to an election year.

“Being informed is critical to the choices we make. KRC wants Kansans to be informed and equipped to make the best decisions possible on food and farming, health and education, and other issues this election year. Taking time to listen and to share with others about your community needs and public policy decisions is important. These dinner and dialogue opportunities offer you a great chance to do just that. These are your town hall meetings – they are not candidate forums, so local citizens have a chance to discuss with each other what they need and want, and what to ask candidates about,” says Mary Fund, Executive Director of the Kansas Rural Center.

The forums will be the first two in KRC’s “Voting for the Future: Dinner & Dialogue” series of four across the state. Each forum will be a little different but both will offer the opportunity to learn more about how to amplify your voice during this important election year.

Other upcoming “Voting for the Future: Dinner & Dialogue” forums will be held in Girard on Aug. 28 and Concordia on Aug. 30.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required to ensure a meal. Please register no later than Aug. 10. To register, please visit, or contact Caryl Hale at [email protected] or call 866-579-5469.

These forums are part of KRC’s “Community Food Solutions for a Healthier Kansas” initiative and Integrated Voter Engagement project, which aims to improve economy, community, environment and health in Kansas by strengthening civic engagement and public policy support that better incorporates Kansas farms and communities into the state’s healthy food supply chain.

The mission of KRC, founded in 1979, is to promote the long-term health of the land and its people through community-based research, education, and advocacy that advances an economically viable, ecologically sound, and socially just food and farming system in Kansas. For more information, visit