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K-State Olathe
22201 W. Innovation Dr.
Olathe, KS 66061-1304

913-541-1488 fax

Gaining Ground Webinar Series

Gaining Ground is a free webinar series geared toward agriculture educators. The goal of Gaining Ground is to equip agriculture educators with knowledge from national experts that support Urban Food Systems enterprises in the region. Participants will learn technical and systems-level information for successful Urban Food Systems practices through the series.

About the Series

Each webinar is delivered by experts from the urban core such as urban farmers, nonprofit educators, food policy advocates and government workers. Each webinar is one hour in length.

Gaining Ground is presented by the Urban Food Systems program at K-State Olathe.

Sign up for the e-newsletter to learn about new and upcoming sessions. 

Gaining Ground will return in the Fall of 2020.


Previous Webinars

Food Hubs and Alternative Markets - CLICK HERE TO VIEW

The following topics were covered:

  • What is a food hub
  • Pros/Cons and tradeoffs of food hubs
  • Value of joining a food hub
  • Resources

Presented by Anthony Flaccavento, Economic Development Consultant and Organic Farmer

Author of "Building a Healthy Economy from the Ground Up: Harnessing Real World Experience for Transformative Change," Anthony Flaccavento is an economic development consultant and organic farmer from Abingdon, Virginia, in the heart of Appalachia. 

His consulting business, SCALE Inc., works with communities around the world to help build more locally-rooted, sustainable economies and healthier food systems. 

Flaccavento is the founder of Appalachian Sustainable Development and a number of other "social enterprises" in affordable housing, food and farming and forest and wood products. He writes and speaks regularly about the economy, sustainability, rural development and politics. His YouTube channel, “Take Five with Tony”, covers many of these same topics in down-to-earth, five minute segments. 

Flaccavento has a bachelor's degree in agriculture and environmental science and a master’s degree in economics and rural development. He is married to Laurel Flaccavento, a retired public school teacher, and has three terrific grown kids.


Bookkeeping Tools for Farmers - CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Tool - Excel Register for Farm Businesses

The following topics were covered:

  • Overview of Quickbooks and Excel
  • Best options for small/diversified growers or urban growers
  • Helpful hints
  • Pros and Cons
  • Resources

Presented by Julia Shanks, Consultant for Entrepreneurs

Julia Shanks works with food and agricultural entrepreneurs to help them achieve and maintain financial sustainability. 

Drawing on her experiences as a chef, entrepreneur and accounting professor, Shanks gives her clients the tools they need to launch, stabilize and grow their ventures — whether it's a business plan, financial projections or bookkeeping system. 

She is the author of two books: “The Farmer's Office: Tools, Tips and Templates to Successfully Manage a Growing Farm Business” and “The Farmers Market Cookbook.” 

Shanks earned her MBA from Babson College, and is a QuickBooks certified ProAdvisor. You can learn more about her and her work at www.juliashanks.com and www.thefarmersoffice.com


Financing the Farm: Navigating FSA Loans - CLICK HERE TO VIEW

The following topics were covered:

  • Overview of loan programs
  • Best options for small/diversified growers or urban growers
  • Repayment plan requirements
  • Microloan program
  • How your Extension agent can help
  • What not to do

Presented by Brian W. Wheeler, Farm Loan Manager with the Farm Service Agency in Lafayette County, Missouri

Brian grew up and still operates a farm in Ray County, Missouri. He resides there with his wife, Kristin, 3-year old daughter and 1-year old son.  

Brian graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor's degree in Agriculture Business Management. 

Brian has worked in Ag. lending for 13 years and has been with the Farm Service Agency the past 11 years. 





This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2019-38640-29879 through the North Central Region SARE program under project number XNC19-181 Capacity Building in Urban Food Systems in the North Central Region. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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