Thurs., April 4, 9:30am - 4:30pm

(Registration 8:45-9:28 a.m.)

Meridian Center, Newton

Optional pre-conference Wed., April 3, 3-8 p.m.

What would a new kind of community look like in rural Kansas--one that honors and respects traditions while taking advantage of new thoughts and approaches? Interviews with 175 Kansans ages 21-39 who were rural by choice resulted in the Kansas PowerUp & Go report,* which let us know that young people want to live and thrive in what can be described as a community of the future. These communities are supportive, encouraging and welcoming, and people like living there. This conference will look at elements that help a community like itself. Find your place in all this through the sharing of ideas, actions, and concepts in an environment that is positive and forward-moving. As always, the sessions will feature peer sharing. There is a limit of 170. $85.

*Report researched and written by the KSF for the Office of Rural Prosperity

Pre-conference session!


Wednesday, April 3, 3 - 8pm

(Registration 2:30-2:58 p.m.)

Utilizing community spaces in Newton and North Newton

Being welcomed is one thing. Feeling a sense of belonging is another. Can you feel that vibe in a community? The 2024 We Kan! Conference pre-conference session is an experiential opportunity to learn more about the ingredients of creating a place where everyone feels seen and appreciated--part of being a Community of the Future. You’ll interact with local residents, explore a variety of “third places,” and attend a community event. Then, we’ll gather to discuss the value and impact of these simple concepts—and how it could change your community. You won’t want to miss this! This session will fill up quickly. There is a limit of 35 spaces. $50.


  • People who want to make Kansas a better place to live

  • Kansans who are committed to implementing new ideas and getting stuff done. Community do'ers!

  • Champions of community-building projects who could use some support - and who can give support to others.

  • Local government, tourism, artists, farmers, entrepreneurs, economic development, health care, elder care, child care, educators, librarians, community foundations, rural telecoms, housing, elected officials, etc. Anyone who cares about the business of rural living.

  • Advocates from state agencies and organizations


$85 is the registration fee for April 4. Sign up soon! There is a limit of 170 spaces. It covers continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and beverages, plus conference materials. It is an additional cost ($50) to attend the optional April 3 pre-conference and that cost includes your Wednesday night meal. Limit of 35 people for this pre-conference session.


The Holiday Inn Express in Newton has reserved a block of rooms for the conference at a discounted rate of $139 plus taxes. Please call 316.804.7040 before March 3 to make reservations and let them know you are attending the Kansas Sampler Foundation conference. Here is a link to all Newton lodging.


We have many ways for you or your organization to help with this event. Sponsorships help keep costs down for participants and help level up KSF's work to support rural Kansas. Sponsorship levels range from $25 to $2,500. Every dollar makes an impact. Indicate sponsorship level on the registration form. You don't have to attend to be a sponsor.

NOTE: Those who sponsor at the $2,500 level receive four comp registrations

and sponsors at $1,000 receive two.

To learn more about sponsorships or with questions, please contact or



Support rural Kansas with a silent auction donation: In 2024, the We Kan! Conference silent auction will feature experiences in Kansas. We welcome your donations of all-access, behind-the-scenes activities that visitors or residents alike can enjoy. Be creative and curious in sharing what makes Kansas unique. In giving an experience, communities have the opportunity to practice welcoming. Visitors and new residents have the opportunity to practice being curious about a new place. Donations to the auction help offset conference costs and support the work of the Kansas Sampler Foundation.


The Kansas Sampler Foundation, a 501(c) non-profit organization based near Inman, develops programs and opportunities to support rural Kansas. Our mission is to preserve and sustain rural culture and we do it through the unrelenting support of those who work hard to improve where they live. Click here to learn more about what we do.