Olson Named Assistant Secretary of Agriculture


MANHATTAN, Kan. — Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam announced this week that Kelsey Olson has been named Assistant Secretary of Agriculture at the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Olson began serving in the new role on July 1.

“I’m excited to add Kelsey to the team,” said Secretary Beam. “Her knowledge of the diverse agriculture sectors in Kansas, experiences with constituent services, and passion for rural Kansas makes her a perfect fit at the Kansas Department of Agriculture.”

Olson will assist in leading the agency by serving as a liaison between the agency and industry stakeholders, assisting the Secretary with attendance and participation to meeting/event invitations, participating in regulatory and legislative policy deliberations, and coordinating special projects and initiatives of KDA.

Olson has been with Syngenta in Junction City since 2010, specializing in portfolio management, trend analysis, investing and sales within the agriculture industry. She also worked in the office of U.S. Congressman Jerry Moran as a district agricultural representative.

Olson grew up in Norton, Kansas, then attended Kansas State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in international agribusiness and master’s degree in agricultural economics. She resides in Manhattan with her husband, Casey, and their two children.

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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