Hillsboro, a rural Kansas community of just over 2,400 residents is nestled between the North Cottonwood and South Cottonwood Rivers in Marion County. Community leaders recently celebrated a groundbreaking in the frozen soils of central Kansas as the first step in the construction of their new community hospital.
The new 27,750 square foot facility will replace a 50-year old structure to provide health care to Hillsboro residents and serve nearby smaller communities as well. The new hospital is a partnership between the City of Hillsboro and HMC/CAH and was made possible by a USDA Rural Development Recovery Act Business and Industry Loan Guarantee in the amount of $9,250,000 to the Bank of Hays. Read more »
About 85 years ago, the leaders and generous residents of Pittsburg, Kansas rallied to build the Besse Hotel in the city’s quickly developing downtown district. The structure was a 13-story grand dame that catered to business travelers and visitors for decades with a grand ballroom, upscale restaurant as well as beautiful guest rooms.
However, after more than 50 years, the structure fell into disrepair and became a blight on Pittsburg’s downtown. Read more »
David Villano, assistant administrator of USDA’s Rural Utilities programs recently provided the keynote address to the 2010 Kansas Broadband Summit in Wichita. The Summit, entitled “A Fully Connected Kansas – Mission Possible” addressed topics of telemedicine, government services, economic development, mapping and digital accessibility. Over 180 attended including USDA Recovery Act broadband awardees Madison Telephone Co., LLC, NEX-Tech, and SC Telcom. The purpose of the summit was to begin building a statewide sustainable broadband focus. Read more »
Donn Teske, farmer and President of the Kansas Farmers’ Union, is optimistic. He believes that small and mid-sized farms are making successful inroads to improve their market power and these efforts have great potential. Donn himself operates a fifth generation, 2,000 acre organic farm and ranch in northeastern Kansas, and, in spite of increasing difficulties, he has not been deterred from continuing to improve the marketing opportunities for mid-sized farmers.
One of these opportunities has come from the Kansas Organic Producers (KOP), a group of nearly sixty farmers that provides crucial marketing services for its members. Established in 1974 as an education association to help promote the production and marketing of organic products, the group restructured in 1992 to focus on marketing organic grain. One-third of Donn’s farm is dedicated to alfalfa hay, red clover, milo (grain sorghum), corn, soybeans and wheat. With nearly his entire crop production servicing the livestock industry, KOP is his primary marketing channel. His harvest alone would be far more difficult to market effectively, but the services of KOP give growers a shared clout. Read more »
The CEO and employees of the Madison Telephone, LLC, the engineering firm and construction firm representatives, local, county and state elected officials break ground on a broadband project that will bring jobs and opportunity to part of rural Kansas.
Greenwood County, Kansas is a fragile rural economy. Despite the current challenges of outmigration, unemployment and economic resources a bold step was taken recently as Madison Telephone, LLC broke ground to begin construction of a Fiber-to-the-Premises project in its certified service area, which includes the communities of Madison and Lamont. Read more »
Kansas Rural Development State Director Patty Clark addresses stakeholders at a meeting to foster and support the Northeast Kansas/Kansas City Regional Food Initiative.
The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City recently hosted an “Agricultural Sustainability Forum” at the legendary American Royal facilities in the historic Kansas City Stockyards district. Among the featured speakers was USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. Read more »