Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Accepting Applications

Kansas students joined other U.S. students for this visit to the Taiwan mountains in November 2018 as part of the Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Program.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The 2019 Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Program is currently accepting applications from high school seniors or college freshmen who are passionate about agriculture and are interested in representing Kansas in a week-long exchange program October 26 through November 3, 2019.

Each year the National Taichung Agricultural Senior High School in central Taiwan hosts students from the U.S. Midwest for this program. Selected students will tour agricultural facilities and businesses in Taiwan and learn about Taiwanese agriculture.

“The entire experience was amazing,” said Sage Collins, 2018 program participant. “Immersing myself in a new culture, experiencing all the aspects of Taiwan and learning about their agricultural practices was an eye-opening experience for me.”

Exports play an important role in Kansas agriculture. According to Euromonitor, Kansas exported over $129 million in agriculture products to Taiwan in 2018, including beef, oil seeds, cereal grains and wheat flour. Globally, exports of agriculture products contributed over $3.6 billion to the Kansas economy in 2018.

“The Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Program is a tremendous opportunity for students who have an interest in agriculture,” said Suzanne Ryan-Numrich, international trade director for the Kansas Department of Agriculture. “Students are able to return from Taiwan with a broader understanding of international agriculture and the role that exports play in their local communities.”

Two students will be selected to represent Kansas. To be eligible to apply, students must meet the following requirements:

  • High school senior or college freshman.
  • At least 18 years of age by the beginning of the trip.
  • Strong Kansas agricultural background.
  • Valid U.S. passport by time of exchange program selection.
  • Able and willing to pay for airfare costs (approximately $1,000).

Applications must be submitted by August 30 for the student to be considered. Students interested in applying can find more information at agriculture.ks.gov/AgEd. The Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Program is sponsored by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Kansas FFA Association and Kansas 4-H.

For more information, contact Robin Blume, KDA education and events coordinator, at Robin.Blume@ks.gov or 785-564-6756.

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.