Kansas Department of Agriculture to Hold Virtual 2020 Ag Summit


MANHATTAN, Kansas — The Kansas Department of Agriculture has converted its fifth annual Kansas Summit on Agricultural Growth into a virtual experience. Beginning July 20, farmers, ranchers, agribusiness owners, and other industry professionals across Kansas agriculture are invited to join KDA online as agriculture leaders from across the state network, collaborate, and engage with others from throughout all corners of Kansas agriculture.

The Kansas Ag Growth Summit has become known as a time when all of the agriculture industry sectors gather together in one place, with one goal — growing Kansas agriculture. Unfortunately, this year, after careful consideration and regard for the health and safety of everyone in the industry, KDA made the decision to move the 2020 Ag Growth Summit from an in-person event to a virtual experience.

“The KDA Ag Growth team is disappointed that we are unable to hold the 2020 Summit in person, but we are excited about the possibilities of what a virtual Summit could entail,” said Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam. “We have preserved the key elements from past gatherings, including interactive sessions designed to promote action and engagement within specific sectors of the Kansas agriculture community, but instead of all taking place at one time and in one place, they will be spread over several weeks.”

Starting July 20, the Summit will begin with sector breakout sessions held via online webinars. These sessions will take place over a four-week period and will be recorded for easy access if you are unable to participate on the day of the event. In addition to the sector breakout sessions, there will be three sessions covering “crossover” topics that impact Kansas agriculture as a whole. Crossover topics will cover Agriculture’s Voice in Statewide Initiatives (August 17), Protecting Our Supply Chain During COVID-19 (August 18) and Trade (August 19). These discussions will include guest speakers and industry leaders and will also be recorded for later viewing.

The 2020 Kansas Ag Growth Summit will culminate with a webinar on Thursday, August 20. This event will feature guest speakers as well as share results from the previous breakout sessions.

There is no cost to participate in any part of the Ag Growth Summit, but registration is required. A link will be sent to registrants enabling them to connect to the sessions they wish to attend. Register at for sector sessions, crossover sessions, and the main Summit webinar.

Details regarding dates and times of the sector sessions, as well as speakers and specific agenda items, can be found on the KDA website at The website will continue to be updated as plans are finalized over the next few weeks. If you have questions about the 2020 Kansas Ag Growth Summit, please contact Brittney Grother at or 785-564-6797.

Whether in person or online, KDA remains committed to our purpose — to serve, promote and grow the state’s largest industry. Please join us as we work together to grow smarter, grow stronger, and grow Kansas.

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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