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Rural Grocery Store Feeds a Kansas Community

Farmers Kevin and Cherie Schenker established a grocery store to support the health of their rural community.

| October/November 2018

  • cattle-farmers
    Kevin and Cherie Schenker own a cattle farm in Kansas.
    Photo by TBL Photography
  • meat-market-stand
    The Schenkers sell their products at the farmers market.
    Photo by TBL Photography
  • farm-to-market
    The Schenkers snip the ribbon at the grand opening of McCune Farm to Market.
    Photo by Stephanie Potter/The Morning Sun

  • cattle-farmers
  • meat-market-stand
  • farm-to-market

Kevin and Cherie Schenker live and work on several hundred acres of prairie in southeast Kansas, near land that’s been farmed by Cherie’s family since 1874. The task of tending this land passed to the Schenkers in 2008, which led them to establish their own cattle operation, Schenker Family Farms.

Kevin and Cherie aim to steward their land humanely; their animals graze on specialty grasses and their farm is Certified Naturally Grown. Plus, they’ve worked to have a positive impact on their communities both globally and locally. Since 2010, they’ve partnered with Adopt-a-Platoon to ship their products to soldiers stationed overseas. And in 2017, they opened McCune Farm to Market, a small grocery store and café, to serve as a community hub and alleviate the surrounding rural food desert.

In this interview, Cherie reveals what drives the Schenkers’ farm and store. 

What led you to farming?

We were married in 2006, and we knew we wanted to go into farming. The opportunity arose in 2008, when my father wanted to semi-retire. We purchased a portion of the family farm and began Schenker Family Farms while working closely with my father to begin winding down his livestock and hay operation. 

Prior to this, we had been developing a business model for selling grass-fed meats online to meet a niche market. After implementing that plan, we doubled the size of our operation just a few years after starting it, and we now ship 95 percent of our meat to customers across the United States.

What types of food does your farm produce?

We produce grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, chicken, and a small amount of lamb. We currently market our grass-fed meats at Our Website, through Whole Foods Markets, at the farmers market, and through our store.

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