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John Shea, 202-690-0437


TOPEKA, KS, Aug 20, 2010 – USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) joined other members of the USDA Kansas State Outreach Council July 31, 2010, to participate in the 132nd Nicodemus, KS, Homecoming Emancipation Celebration. The Team USDA Outreach activity included information booths representing RMA, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development, and the Farm Service Agency.

PHOTO: Participants 
at the July 31 2010 Nicodemus Homecoming Emancipation Celebration

The town of Nicodemus was founded in 1877 as a planned community dedicated to Black Settlers. It was primarily settled by freed slaves from Kentucky who moved west in hopes of a better life. Located in North Central Kansas, in the heart of the Great Plains, living conditions were difficult. In its heyday, the town had two newspapers, three general stores, several churches, a school, a bank, and various other businesses. When the railroad failed to come through Nicodemus, the population began to dwindle. There are about 40 residents now living in Nicodemus.

The town has been designated as a National Historic Site, and each year during the last weekend in July, about 500 descendants of the original settlers come together in Nicodemus to celebrate Emancipation Day.