Food and Farm Council

Mission Statement

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:

  • Identify and prioritize needs and make recommendations that promote, support, and strengthen access to local, healthy, safe, affordable food
  • Educate and advise the City/County Commissions on local food system needs
  • Provide a forum for people involved in different parts of the local food system and local government officials for fostering collaborative coordinated actions to improve our local food system

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.

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.

Recorded Meeting Video Links

4/18/22 Meeting Video                             Passcode: .yEk4=E4

3/21/22 Meeting Video                           Passcode: =Wv.MYH6

2/21/22 Meeting Video                           Passcode: $.wSPI2+

Meeting Minutes

4/18/22 Meeting Minutes

                                                                3/21/22 Meeting Minutes                                     

2/21/22 Meeting Minutes

Commission Updates

2/18/21 Presentation at City/County/County Meeting

Member Qualifications

City Appointments

  • One member representing the community-at-large
  • One member representing food retail
  • One member representing at-risk populations
  • One member representing Kansas State University
  • One member representing the Chamber of Commerce
  • One member representing schools or other institutional food purchaser

County Appointments

  • One member representing health professionals (Health, nutrition, medical care)
  • One member representing senior citizens
  • One member representing waste management/recycling
  • One member representing the community at large
  • One member representing Kansas State Research and Extension
  • One member representing agriculture organizations
  • One member representing small farm production
  • One member representing traditional agriculture production
  • One member representing the County Health Department

Appointment Details

All Council members shall be dually appointed by the Riley County Board of Commissioners and the City of Manhattan City Commission. Initial appointments will be for staggered terms: one third will serve one year, one third will serve two years, and a third will serve three years. All appointments to fill the one- and two-year terms will be for three years thereafter.

The Council will be a group of community member convened to hold discussions, help improve coordination of services that impact our local food system, and provide a voice from the community to our elected city and county officials. 

The Food and Farm Council will use existing and new survey data, plus listening session and interview data, to determine what the community is saying, what the priority needs are, and to work on solution sets to make a stronger food system for our city and county. That can include working on food issues such as affordability of locally grown fruits/vegetables, easier access to healthy foods, food insecurity issues, including a systematic food recovery program, recycling, gardening, and more! The Council will meet at least six times a year.

Staff Liaison

Eli Martinson, GIS Coordinator
Email Eli Martinson 

Additional Information

If the Food and Farm Council is more of a commitment than you have time for, you can still get involved and make a difference in our local food system by joining the Flint Hills Wellness Coalition’s Nutrition Workgroup. There are opportunities to be involved at the leadership, team level, or in sub-committee work with specific food system issues such as food insecurity, food waste, and many others. Read more at

The Food & Farm Council produced an assessment of food systems in Riley County in September 2017. You can read it here.


Visit the new Food and Farm Council website at


Council meetings are currently being held at the Riley County Family and Child Resource Center Conference Room, 2010 Claflin Rd, and via Zoom, on the third Monday of the month at 11:30am. Look for the link in monthly meeting agendas.


  • Carol Barta (Riley County)
    • Term expires: 08/31/22
  • Joshua Brewer (City)
    • Term expires: 08/31/22
  • Kate LaRosh (Riley County)
    • Term expires: 08/31/22
  • Andrea DeJesus (Riley County)
    • Term expires: 08/31/23
  • Megan Dougherty (Riley County)
    • Term expires: 08/31/23
  • John Green (Riley County)
    • Term expires: 08/31/24
  • Sharolyn Jackson (Riley County)
    • Term expires: 08/31/24
  • Jacquie Mack (Riley County)
    • Term expires: 08/31/22
  • Mary Mertz (Riley County)
    • Term expires: 08/31/24
  • Maureen Olewnik (Riley County)
    • Term expires: 08/31/23
  • David Procter (City)
    • Term expires: 08/31/23
  • Adrian Self (City)
    • Term expires: 08/31/24
  • Stephanie Smith (City)
    • Term expires: 08/31/23
  • Kirsten Spear (City)
    • Term expires: 08/31/24
  • Michael Wilson (City)
    • Term expires: 08/31/22