MKC to use KFB’s RKAP to bring Kansans career opportunities through apprenticeships in agriculture

Mid-Kansas Cooperative (MKC) is pleased to announce the launch of an apprenticeship program to hire agricultural equipment operators, CDL drivers and operations specialists through Kansas Farm Bureau’s (KFB) Rural Kansas Apprenticeship Program (RKAP).

“This apprenticeship program formalizes the training and opportunities for career growth that have existed at MKC for years. We believe that clarifying our commitment through this opportunity provides people with or without agricultural experience a clear path to a rewarding role in our organization.” – Anne Anderton Warren, Executive Vice President & Chief Talent Officer, MKC.

The program is designed to provide on-the-job training and technical instruction to employees hired into specific entry-level operations positions. Apprentices will be recruited, interviewed, hired and employed by MKC.

KFB will serve as the intermediary sponsor working with MKC and The Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship to assist in the administration of these apprenticeship opportunities. These apprenticeships will provide MKC with additional value proposition for attracting new employees and apprentices in these roles. Apprentices will receive mentorship, training and compensation while developing skills in a high-demand agriculture career path.

RKAP is the first-ever registered apprenticeship program focused on agriculture and rural Kansas. With its broad charter, RKAP has the capability to bring this innovative education and employment opportunity to communities across the state.

“MKC is an excellent partner because like KFB, they serve farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses. KFB is excited to develop a program where MKC and its employees can grow alongside each other to support agriculture and rural Kansas.” – Joel Leftwich, KFB’s chief strategy officer.

If you are interested in partnering with Kansas Farm Bureau in an apprenticeship program, contact Joel Leftwich at or visit

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 2020 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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