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Rural Grocery Initiative

National Rural Grocery Summit

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 is the premier networking and resource-sharing venue for independent grocers and rural food access stakeholders. It will be hosted in Wichita, Kansas, on June 20-21, 2022.

Early Bird Summit Registration Rates:

  • Grocer Registration (up to two representatives per store): FREE
  • General Registration: $150
  • Late Registration (after June 1, 2022): $185

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. Join us!

National Rural Grocery Summit 2022

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.

Join us every third Thursday to learn strategies for creating a prosperous and sustainable ownership transition. Register here.

We're Hiring!

RGI is hiring a part-time student for Summer 2022 to develop informational resources that support rural grocery stores. In particular, the student will be deeply engaged in researching and writing roughly six case studies that explore various grocery ownership models and rural grocery best practices.

The full position description can be found here. 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.