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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Office of Rural Prosperity Announces 2020 Tour

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly and Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers announced plans and dates for the Office of Rural Prosperity’s (ORP) 2020 Tour. This year’s tour will be completely virtual and will build off the ORP Listening Tour Lt. Governor Rogers led last summer.

“The Office of Rural Prosperity was established to give all Kansans a voice at the Statehouse,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This tour will continue to remind rural communities that we are here to support them, and we are continuing to work towards solutions that will foster growth and prosperity in these areas.”

Last summer Lt. Governor Rogers took to the road as part of a statewide Listening Tour where he connected with hundreds of Kansans across the state. These discussions established the foundation for the Office of Rural Prosperity and its priorities to help streamline polices and coordinate programs that aid rural Kansas.

The 2020 tour will consist of 7 virtual meeting across the state that will be open to the public. State agency leaders and local stakeholders will join the Lt. Governor to talk about policies and projects that are targeted to rural areas.

“One of my favorite things is connecting with people and I’m very much looking forward to getting ‘back on the road’ again, even if it’s virtual,” said Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers. “To contrast last year’s tour, this year we will focus around listening and action, meaning we will be showing Kansans how we’ve been working towards sustainable solutions to concerns we’ve heard across the state.”

Governor Kelly cited Covid-19 concerns and the safety of Kansans for the move to a virtual platform. The Lt. Governor echoed her sentiments but acknowledge the challenges of broadband internet for some rural areas. Participants will still have opportunities to ask questions during the meetings and provide feedback through surveys and the comments section.

The ORP’s priority areas consist of broadband and infrastructure, early education and childcare, healthcare, housing, and community development. The tour will also discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on rural communities.

Participants must register for their specific region at www.ruralkanprosper.gov/2020-tour. Call-in options for those with limited internet access will be available and all sessions will be recorded and streamed to Lt. Governor’s Facebook page. Press and public officials are encouraged to attend.

Tour Schedule:

All meetings will be held 5:30-7:00 p.m. except for the Saturday statewide meeting.

  • North Central- Thursday, August 6th
  • North West- Wednesday August 12th
  • Statewide- Saturday, August 22nd (1:30-3:00 p.m.)
  • Southwest- Tuesday, August 25th
  • South Central- Wednesday, September 2nd
  • South East- Wednesday, September 9th
  • North East Kansas- Wednesday, September

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About The Office of Rural Prosperity
ORP is a nonpartisan initiative established in part to ensure that rural Kansas is heard and represented in the Statehouse. ORP is an effort to streamline rural policy, create an inventory of existing resources and initiatives while aiding in rural improvement efforts.

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