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Rural Grocery Initiative

Welcome to the Rural Grocery Initiative

The Rural Grocery Initiative, housed within K-State Research and Extension, aims to sustain locally-owned rural grocery stores to enhance community vitality and improve access to healthy foods by identifying, developing, and sharing resources that support grocers and rural communities.


Join us in Wichita for the National Rural Grocery Summit

The National Rural Grocery Summit will be hosted in Wichita, KS on June 20-21, 2022. More details will be available soon.

Key Information:

National Rural Grocery Summit 2022

The National Rural Grocery Summit is the premier networking and resource-sharing venue for independent grocers and rural food access stakeholders.

This biennial summit brings together store owners, citizen leaders, food suppliers, academic researchers, healthy food access practitioners, policy makers, and funders to learn from and strategize with one another about sustaining rural grocery stores and improving rural access to healthy foods.

View materials from previous Rural Grocery Summits here.


Webinar Series

Rural Grocery Succession Planning - Monthly Webinars

Grocery stores face many uphill battles, from competition, to slim profit margins, to high operating costs. But another often-overlooked challenge affects not only grocers, but also entire communities: business transition. In other words, who will take over the grocery store once the owner is ready to move on?

Creating a transition plan helps ensure the grocery store continues operating, even after the owner exits the business. This is crucial in rural communities, where grocery stores are anchor institutions.

Starting in January 2022 | Every third Thursday at 1:30 PM Central
Free and open to grocers, prospective grocers, and community stakeholders
Register today!

We're Hiring!

RGI is seeking a part-time student employee to help advance the mission of the program. The student employee will support projects related to rural food access, rural grocery stores, and community vitality and work with a variety of faculty, staff, students, community and business leaders.

The full position description can be found here. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2022. Please direct any questions to the Rural Grocery Initiative at rgi@ksu.edu.  


Celebrating the distinguished career of Dr. David Procter

Dr. David Procter, co-founder of the Rural Grocery Initiative and professor of Communications Studies at Kansas State University, has retired after over 30 years at K-State. Dr. Procter left an indelible mark on the field of rural grocery across the country and will be missed! Read more on his distinguished career here.



COVID-19 Guidance for Grocers

Click here for COVID-19 guidance for retailers.