2023 Kansas Ag Growth Summit Draws Ag Leaders from Across the State

MANHATTAN, Kansas — More than 400 leaders representing a variety of agricultural interests across the state of Kansas came together on August 17 at the seventh annual Kansas Governor’s Summit on Agricultural Growth.

Governor Laura Kelly opened the Summit with a welcome and expressed her enthusiasm for the Kansas agriculture industry. “There’s no doubt: Kansas remains a worldwide powerhouse in agriculture,” said Governor Kelly. “But it’s also clear that to keep our ag industry modern and competitive, we have to solve two major challenges facing us: water and workforce shortages.”

This year’s Ag Growth Summit Attendees focused on these two overarching issues that have an impact on the entire Kansas agriculture industry: workforce and water. Chuck Conner, President and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, spoke about workforce and labor. Nathan Hendricks, a professor in agricultural economics at K-State, spoke about the economics of land and water. Following those presentations, attendees participated in an interactive work session to discuss those two critical issues.

“The Ag Growth Summit brings the Kansas agriculture community into one room to seek collaboration and develop initiatives that can help drive growth for the state’s ag industry,” said Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam. “This year’s discussions will help us make substantive progress toward growth that will benefit the entire state of Kansas.”

In the afternoon, Marshall Stewart, K-State senior vice president, announced the creation of the new Barry Flinchbaugh Center for Ag Policy. He was joined by K-State president Richard Linton along with members of Dr. Flinchbaugh’s family. This announcement was followed by an update on the Edge Collaboration District by representatives from the KSU Foundation. These projects are examples of K-State’s path forward as a next-generation land-grant university, and will play a role in agricultural growth in the state of Kansas.

As the day concluded, Secretary Beam recognized the 2023 Kansas Ag Heroes, and provided a summary of the morning’s work sessions. For more about the 2023 Kansas Ag Growth Summit and the full Ag Growth Project —including materials shared in the day’s sessions and a full list of the Kansas Ag Heroes — go to www.agriculture.ks.gov/GrowAg .

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
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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