Kansas Department of Agriculture News Releases

Kansas Students Participate in Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Program

Three Kansas students traveled to Taiwan Dec. 4-10, 2016, to represent the state as part of a long-standing student exchange program to learn about Taiwan’s agricultural industry and how Kansas agriculture exports benefit both Kansas and Taiwan. The students were selected by the Kansas Department of Agriculture based on their exceptional leadership and communication skills, appreciation for international travel and passion for Kansas agriculture.

Three Kansas students traveled to Taiwan Dec. 4-10, 2016, to represent the state as part of a long-standing student exchange program to learn about Taiwan’s agricultural industry and how Kansas agriculture exports benefit both Kansas and Taiwan. The students were selected by the Kansas Department of Agriculture based on their exceptional leadership and communication skills, appreciation for international travel and passion for Kansas agriculture.

“The students involved in this exchange program get to experience different types of agriculture, technology and cultures. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for these students to gain an understanding of the global economy we live in,” said Suzanne Ryan-Numrich, international trade director at KDA.

The three students who participated were:

  • Amber Kelly from Effingham. Amber is a freshman in the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University and is the daughter of Mike and Denise Kelly.
  • Brianne Nelsen from Fredonia. Brianne is a freshman studying agribusiness at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and is the daughter of Paul and Cheri Nelsen.
  • Chase Regehr from Iola. Chase is a senior at Iola High School and is the son of Brian and Shellie Regehr.

While in Taiwan, the students stayed at the National Taichung Agricultural Senior High School for a week-long educational experience. Their visit included tours of the campus, interaction with Taiwanese students, meetings with the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and visits to local farms and research institutes.

“I’m excited to see how my passion for the agriculture industry will grow as I continue my journey through life and work to get my degrees,” said Nelson. “This trip gave me the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and learn about other cultures.”

“The long hours on the airplane were so worth it. As soon as we landed in the country, I could feel the love and compassion the Taiwanese people have. I learned so much about their school system, agriculture businesses and their amazing culture.” said Regehr.

The trip is coordinated by KDA and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver, Colorado, and is sponsored by TECO.

Opportunities such as the Taiwan Youth Exchange Program provide tremendous knowledge and networking to the delegates. In 2015, Kansas exported $97.8 million dollars of agriculture commodities to Taiwan. International relationships with countries such as Taiwan help open opportunities for more exports in the future.

“The Taiwanese citizens are so kind, generous, and loving towards Americans. At the Foreign Minister’s Office, we were shown great hospitality and the Deputy General of North American Affairs expressed terrific gratitude for trade with North America and Kansas,” said Kelly. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to experience this incredible culture and represent Kansas.”

Each fall, KDA coordinates the Taiwan Youth Exchange Program application process which is open to high school seniors or college freshmen. For more information, please contact Suzanne Ryan-Numrich, international trade director at KDA, at suzanne.numrich@ks.gov or by calling 785-564-6704.