2018 ROC Agenda

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2018 Rural Opportunities Conference
April 24 – 25 ∙ Meridian Conference Center ∙ Newton

Tuesday, April 24

10 a.m.
Registration & Exhibits Open
11:30 a.m.
Lunch Buffet
11:45 a.m.
Welcome Remarks
• Susan NeuPoth Cadoret, 
Kansas Department of Commerce
Noon - 12:40 p.m.Keynote Speaker
• Anne Hazlett, 
Assistant to the Secretary, 
U.S. Department of Agriculture
• Introduction by Lynne Hinrichsen, State of Kansas Director – USDA
1:00 p.m.
Improving Quality of Life Presentation
• Sharolyn Flaming Jackson,
Kansas State Research and Extension

Increasing rates of chronic diseases and pre-mature death in Kansas continue to take human and economic tolls. Rural/frontier and vulnerable populations are especially hard-hit.

Sharolyn Flaming Jackson, Family and Consumer Sciences Specialist for K-State Research and Extension, will discuss the “Culture of Health” and why communities need to have critical conversations to improve the health in their communities.

Panelists will share how their organizations are working to improve quality of life.
• Dan Partridge, Director - Douglas County Health Department
• Missty Lechner, Advocacy Project Director - Kansas Heart Association 
1:30 p.m.
Improving Quality of Life Panel Discussion

• Nadine Sigle, Kansas State Research and Extension

• Sharolyn Flaming Jackson, Kansas State Research and Extension
• Missty Lechner, American Heart Association
• Dan Partridge, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department

2:30 p.m.
Table Talk – Discussion of topic by attendees
2:45 p.m.
3:00 p.m.Lt. Governor – Tracey Mann
3:20 p.m.
eConnectivity Presentation
Shekinah Bailey, USDA

Broadband coverage in rural areas is the focus of this session including successes and challenges from the USDA, Project 17 and Tri-County Telephone Association.
3:35 p.m.
eConnectivity Panel Discussion

• Steve Radley, NetWork Kansas
• Shekinah Bailey, USDA
• Heather Morgan, Project 17
Angie Schwerdtfeger, Tri-County Telephone Association
• Aaron White, Ellis County Coalition

4:35 p.m.
Table Talk – Discussion of topic by attendees
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Reception – Exhibits Open
Wednesday, April 25

8:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast – Exhibits Open
8:30 a.m.
Support Rural Workforce Presentation
• Russell Plaschka, Kansas Department of Agriculture 

Recruiting, educating, training and retaining talented employees is an ongoing challenge for every industry in almost every community across the country. Russell will give a historical overview of how the agency is addressing the specific challenge of developing a workforce in rural communities.

A panel of experts will share stories about how they are meeting the needs not only of their industries but of the communities they serve.
9:00 a.m.
Supporting Rural Workforce Panel
• Moderator: Russell Plaschka, Kansas Department of Agriculture
• Katie Manbeck / Juliana Stevenson, B&W Hitches
• Weston McCary, Northwest Kansas Technical College
• Stephanie Trumpp, PrairieLand Partners
• Fred Vocasek, ServiTech

9:45 a.m.
Table Talk – Discussion of topic by attendees
10:15 a.m.
Break – Exhibits Open
10:30 a.m.
Harnessing Technology 
Technology is changing our lives in dramatic and unprecedented ways. Emerging examples include unmanned aircraft systems, cybersecurity, and more. What are technological applications that can benefit rural businesses? What are technology issues of which rural businesses need to be aware? How can rural businesses and rural communities position themselves to utilize technology constructively?

Panelists will share various examples of changing technology and the implications for rural business.
• Colonel Kurt Carraway, UAS executive director at K-State Polytechnic in Salina
• Alan Badgley, associate director of the Small Business Development Center in Wichita
• Matt Forney of the Cybersecurity and Forensics Research Group

• Ron Wilson, Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development
• Alan Badgley, Kansas Small Business Development Center
 Kurt Carraway, Applied Aviation Research Center
• Jonathan Lanning, Cyber Security and Forensics Research Group

11: 45 a.m.
Table Talk – Discussion of topic by attendees
12:20 - 12:45 p.m.Dr. Diane DeBacker, Executive Director of Business and Education Innovation - Kansas Department of Commerce
1:00 p.m.
Developing Rural Economy Presentation
• Harry Allen, Council of Development Finance Agencies
The session will focus on innovative ideas for developing the rural economy by identifying opportunities to access capital and leverage existing market opportunities.  
1:30 p.m.
Developing Rural Economy Panel

• Carolyn Dunn, Stafford County Economic Development
Ashley Hutchinson, CloudCorp
• Kathleen VonAchen, Unified Government of Wyandotte County
Chris Vuks, Sunflower Development Group
2:30 p.m.
Table Talk – Discussion of topic by attendees
2:45 p.m.