About the Organization

WKREDA  is a coalition of people in 55 western Kansas counties who've decided to pool their resources, both human and financial, to work together for the common good of western Kansas. Originally formed as a grassroots organization in 1994, WKREDA's members maintain a collaborative affiliation with each other so that we are able to achieve both our individual, and our collective, rural development goals.

As a volunteer organization, WKREDA is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors who meet quarterly to coordinate the activities of the alliance. Along with the various committees of the organization, ad hoc task force groups are created as needed to meet the opportunities and challenges faced by WKREDA's membership.

Who Belongs to WKREDA?

The WKREDA membership is made up of: Individuals, Local Economic Development Groups (LEDO’s), Chambers of Commerce, City and County Governments, Certified Development Companies, Private Businesses, Small Business Development Centers, Public Utilities, State Departments, Educational Institutions.

How is WKREDA Funded?

WKREDA operates on funds generated through annual membership dues.

What Services Does WKREDA Provide its Members?

Educational Opportunity – WKREDA’s Professional Development Committee organizes and provides high quality, relevant and current educational topics for the membership through the quarterly conferences. Topics recently covered include: New Market Tax Credits, Rural Healthcare, Diversity Engagement, Corporate Farming, Water Sources and Regulation, Effective Communications, Internet Workshops, Business Finance, Conflict Management, Lobbying 101, Marketing Your Community, Tax Abatements, Telecommunications Recruiting, Trade Show Training, Web Page Design, E-Commerce Opportunities.  

Legislative Advocacy – the Legislative Committee provides the membership with up-to-date information on legislative activity throughout the year and coordinates advocacy and representation on behalf of the membership where appropriate.

Networking Opportunities – With a diverse membership, WKREDA encourages networking and communication within the organization. This inspires the fostering of collaborative efforts and strengthens project resources.

Internet Listserv – All members have access to this communication portal that allows for inter-network discussion, questioning and fact-finding.

Mentoring Among Members – WKREDA provides a solid foundation for those who are new to Economic Development employment in western Kansas. Mentorship with “seasoned” professionals allows for a quicker orientation and ultimately, a stronger region.

Trade Missions & Conferences – WKREDA has represented the western Kansas region at many Trade Missions and Conferences. These include: World Dairy Expo – Madison, WI; World Wide Food Expo – Chicago, IL; World Ag Expo – Tulare, CA; Syracuse Farm & Equipment – Syracuse, NY; Wisconsin Cheese Makers – Lacrosse, WI; Dairy Producers – Chino Valley, CA; International Call Center Management Conference - Chicago, IL; Institute of Food Technologies – Chicago, IL; Denver Small Manufacturers Trade Show – Denver, CO; wKREDA Dairy Conference – Dodge City, KS; Producers Conference – Garden City, KS; Dairy University – Garden City; Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurship Training – WaKeeney, KS.