Rural Kansas, Here I Come!

by Joanne Steele on June 14, 2010

I introduced you to the Kansas Sampler Foundation almost a year ago with my first post, “Explorer Tourism is Tops in Rural Kansas.” Since then, I’ve spoken at conferences and workshops about KSF, and written extensively about them here at

Kansas Sampler training for the towns of Lincoln and Salina Kansas - all locals, all volunteers.

I’m finally going to be traveling to Inman, Kansas to learn more, first hand, about how Marci Penner gets rural towns all charged up about themselves and ready to collaborate with other small towns for mutual benefit.

If you’ve missed my posts about KSF, here’s a good overview of what has me so excited. “Community Centered Rural Economic Development Kansas Style.”

I recently had a post about their new website, syndicated at Here’s a comment from a Kansas resident:

“The Kansas Sampler Foundation has been a beacon of light to all of us in Kansas. We have a new sense of pride and excitement about the place that we live. Marci, her parents, WenDee, the board members, Explorers, and donors all make it work.”

I follow rural economic development and rural tourism sites all over the world, and this is the first time I’ve seen anyone refer to their local organization as a “beacon of light.”

I’m hoping to learn how Marci, her staff of one (WenDee) and her board have managed to have such a profound impact on hundreds of rural towns.

I think there might be a way to share Marci’s skills and methods….

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

I’m going to take a short break from blogging this week. Tomorrow I travel to Kansas, and the rest of the week will be spent getting to know this remarkable woman.

Check back next week for news from Kansas.

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