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Who We Are

The Douglas County Food Policy Council was established by the County Commission in 2010, and formed as a joint City-County advisory body with the City of Lawrence in 2013.


The Food Policy Council (FPC) seeks to identify the benefits, challenges and opportunities for a successful, sustainable local food system in Douglas County, Kansas.


Read our bylaws to learn more about our purpose and structure. 


The FPC serves as a forum for discussion and coordination for community-wide efforts to improve the Douglas County community's access to local food supply and distribution networks. In addition to foundational goals outlined in our bylaws (above), the Council has created 5 Goals, that form the structure for the Douglas County Food System Plan (adopted summer 2017). 

  • Goal 1: Agricultural producers, food entrepreneurs, and food sector workers thrive in our regional economy.
  • Goal 2: As our cities grow, we prioritize natural resource conservation and maintain working lands to promote soil health. 
  • Goal 3: We build and design our communities to ensure food access, foster health, and eliminate food deserts. 
  • Goal 4: Our community fosters an equitable food system. 
  • Goal 5: Our community eliminates waste in our local food system. 

Council Staff Liaison:

Helen Schnoes, Douglas County Sustainability & Food Systems Planner

E:    P: 785-832-5157

Planning and Development Services Liaison: Amy Miller, Assistant Director  

Chamber Liaison: Hugh Carter, VP External Affairs



As a joint county and city appointed group, the Douglas County Food Policy Council has a diverse group of stakeholders, from agricultural producers to extension agents, retail food partners and more. This diverse membership allows for more collaboration across the county and city to improve upon our local food system.

County Commission Appointees: City Commission Appointees:
(Vacant) Agricultural Producer 
Lee Broyles At-Large (Broyles Beef)
(Vacant) At-Large (1st District Commissioner Appointee)
Ashley Jones-Wisner At-Large (KC Healthy Kids)
William Vesecky Agricultural Producer (Vesecky Family Farms)
Scott Thellman Agricultural Producer (Douglas County Farm Bureau)
T.K. Peterson Retail Food Outlet (Merchants Restaurant)
(Vacant) Institutional Food Purchaser 
Kim Criner, Chair Education (University of Kansas, Center for Sustainability)
Marlin Bates Extension Service (Douglas County Extension)
Christine Ebert NGO-Health/Nutrition/MD (KU Food Service)
Jennifer Kongs, Vice Chair NGO-Local Food Systems/Sustainable Ag (Kansas Rural Center)
Connie Fitzpatrick Youth Representative
Michele Dillon Senior Food & Nutrition Programs (Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging)

Aundrea Shafer, Food Security (Just Food)
Elizabeth Burger At-Large (Sunflower Foundation)
(Vacant) At-Large 
Inti Hurt Retail Food Outlet (The Merc Community Market & Deli)
Jason Champagne Retail Food Outlet 
Michael Steinle City of Lawrence Sustainability Advisory Board (Sustainability)
Tamara Cash Business Community (Lawrence Chamber of Commerce)

John Pendleton, Agricultural Producer (Pendleton's Country Market) 

Olivia Taylor-Puckett Established Farmer’s Market in Douglas County (Lawrence Farmers Market)



How to get involved with the Douglas County Food Policy Council 

Attend a Meeting

The easiest way to get involved in the Douglas County Food Policy Council is by attending the meetings which occur every third Monday of the month from 6:30-8:30pm at various locations in Douglas County. At these meetings, you can connect with community stakeholders who all have the same goal in mind: improving the Douglas County community’s access to local food supply and distribution networks.

Join a Subcommittee

Our committee groups are also open to the public and a great way for community members to have their voices heard and help advance community priorities. Our subcommittees meet monthly and they are the best place to receive more information about joining. (However, on occasion meeting time may change for a month.) You can also contact Helen Schnoes at for additional information.

Learn more about local food

Our website is a great place to learn about local food projects the Douglas County Food Policy Council has accomplished since its founding.