News Features 

Morland Grocery Project

K-State Engagement E-News, January/February 2010 (PDF)

by Mindy Von Elling

The Morland grocery store closed in 2006 due to the retirment of its owners. Residents are hoping to bring a rural grocery like this one back to town

The Morland grocery store closed in 2006 due to the retirment of its owners.
Residents are hoping to bring a rural grocery like this one back to town

Principle investigators, Chris Petty of the Graham County Extension Office and Leah Tsoodle, extension associate in agricultural economics, are working to bring back the local grocery store in Morland, Kan. In 2006, the store closed when the owners retired and since then, the building has deteriorated. Due to this, there is currently a volunteer workforce set with the task of repairing the building and a grant application has been submitted to the Dane Hansen Foundation to fund major building upgrades.

Petty and Tsoodle have calculated the costs of what it would take for an individual in the rural community to travel to an outside grocery store, plus the cost of a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk, and they have decided that it is too much of a burden to make the twelve-mile drive to the nearest store. In the interest of the Morland residents, the project lead by Petty and Tsoodle, "Building community awareness and support for the Morland grocery project," is designed to determine the consumer needs of the citizens of the area. A Community Awareness/Support Survey (CASS) will be mailed to all the residents in the grocery store's expected trade area and is a multi-part survey. The project aims to ultimately cause the completion of the building remodeling project and the re-opening of the Morland grocery store.

The CASS project was awarded funding by the Center for Engagement and Community Development in the spring of 2009 and will be working to benefit the Kansas State University Research and Extension in Graham County, the Morland Community Foundation, the Morland Community Development Corp and the K-State Agriculture Economics Department.

The main component that differentiates this project from others is that it will incorporate a student from the Ag Econ department to assist with data entry and analysis of completed surveys, as well as the PowerPoint presentation and resource materials. The ultimate outcome of the survey is to be a tool for collaborative partners to use as an education resource on rural community development.