New Commissioners Elected to Kansas Commodity Commissions


MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture announced the results of recent elections held for the state’s five grain commodity commissions — corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat in districts Seven, Eight and Nine in the eastern region of the state. Commissioners serve three-year terms and the terms will commence on April 1, 2019.

Kansas Corn Commission

District Seven: Ken McCauley is a corn farmer from Doniphan County. He is a current member of the Kansas Corn Commission, as well as an active member of the Kansas Corn Growers Association. McCauley is a lifelong farmer in Doniphan and Brown counties and attended Kansas State University.

District Eight: Patrick D. Ross from Douglas County is a fourth-generation corn grower and co-owner of Nunemaker-Ross, Inc. He is currently serving as the treasurer of the Kansas Corn Commission. Ross is a member of the Kansas Corn Growers Association, Kansas Soybean Association, Kansas Livestock Association, Ottawa Co-op and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. He attended the University of Kansas.

District Nine: Randy Small is a corn farmer in Wilson County. He has farmed and ranched in Wilson and Montgomery counties since 1990. Currently, Small serves as vice chairman of the Kansas Corn Commission, is a member of the Kansas Wheat Growers Association, NCBA, Kansas Livestock Association and Kansas Farm Bureau. He has a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from K-State.

Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission

District Eight: Kevin Kniebel has been a sorghum producer in Morris County for 38 years. He is the co-owner of Kniebel Farms & Cattle Co. Kniebel currently serves on the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and he is a member of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Association, Kansas Livestock Association and NCBA. He has also traveled on a U.S. Grains Council international trade mission.

Kansas Soybean Commission

District Seven: Gary Robbins grows soybeans in Pottawatomie County. Robbins is a fourth-generation farmer from Hazelton. He is a current member of several commodity and community organizations, including the Kansas Soybean Association, Kansas Corn Association and Kansas Wheat Association. Robbins is a past participant in the DuPont Young Leader Program and the Syngenta leadership program.

District Nine: Mike Bellar is a soybean, corn, wheat and hog farmer in Elk County. He is very active in several associations, including the Kansas Soybean Association, Kansas Wheat Growers, Kansas Corn Association, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Livestock Association, and Kansas Pork Association. He has also been involved with leadership roles on the local Farm Credit board, Farm Service Agency county committee, and local Farm Bureau board. Bellar is a graduate of Fort Hays State University with a B.S. in ag business.

Kansas Sunflower Commission

No candidates are running for commissioner in districts Seven, Eight or Nine. The Kansas Sunflower Commission will appoint these positions.

Kansas Wheat Commission

No candidates are running for commissioner in districts Seven, Eight or Nine. The Kansas Wheat Commission will appoint these positions.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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