Down the main street of town comes the Christmas parade, including a combine covered in Christmas lights. That’s a sure sign that this is happening in rural Kansas. Along the parade route, shops are open late – including a gift shop owned by an innovative young Kansas couple. In small town Kansas, wouldn’t it be nice if we could do our holiday shopping in a local business? For example, right next door? Today we’ll learn about this couple in rural Kansas who has opened a convenient gift shop – and it is literally named Next Door. This is a special holiday edition of Kansas Profile.
The main artery is vitally important in the circulatory system of every person. It carries nutrients and life-giving oxygen that is vital to the human body. Today we’ll learn about a different type of artery. This one is literally about Art. The Main ARTery is a catchy name for a remarkable art gallery in a rural region of Kansas and it’s the topic of this week’s Kansas Profile.
Tracy Teeter is owner of The Main ARTery in Ulysses, Kansas. She grew up at Ulysses and studied commercial art at Garden City Community College and Emporia State University before working in the restaurant business at various locations around the country. In 1995, she returned to Ulysses and went to work for an attorney. She also met and married her husband, Lynn Teeter.
Tracy practiced painting pastels on the side. In 2005, she befriended a local frame shop owner and fellow artist named Jeani Gustafson. After seeing her friend’s artwork, Tracy said, “Let’s do a show together.” The two joined with other artists to plan and produce an art show in Ulysses.
Orlando, Florida. We are at the national meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation, where four candidates are vying to become president of this national organization. It is a highly contested election, and the four candidates are speaking at a candidate’s forum. Would you believe, the person who is moderating this forum is a woman from rural Kansas?
Marieta Hauser is the woman who moderated this candidate forum for the national Farm Bureau organization. She has risen through the ranks to be a key leader in agriculture.
Marieta was born and raised in Grant County in southwest Kansas. Grant County is located 30 miles from Oklahoma to the south and borders the mountain time zone on the west. Marieta’s ancestors were in ranching and then got into the grain elevator business in Grant County.
Marieta met Tom Hauser in school and ultimately married him. They moved to Tom’s farm where today they raise dryland crops of wheat and milo. Tom and Marieta had three sons and a daughter. After the kids were older, Marieta took the job as director of the Grant County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, where she serves today.
Marieta enjoys promoting her home county. “Our historic Adobe Museum is outstanding, and Wagon Bed Springs has rich history from its location along the Santa Fe Trail,” Marieta said. “Mountain man Jedediah Smith is said to have died here in an Indian battle.”
Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University writes Kansas Profile. The weekly posts highlight individuals or companies in rural Kansas who are making a difference to their community and state.
The Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development is a public / private partnership between Kansas State University and the Huck Boyd Foundation. The mission of the institute is to help rural people help themselves. Learn more at www.huckboydinstitute.org.