Business Development

The business development team works to grow the Kansas agriculture industry and economy.  The team works with any farmer, rancher, or agribusiness that wants to expand in size or product offerings.  The team works to attract farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses to Kansas to conduct business; whether with a complete relocation or expansion of an additional location. The business development team connects people, works through regulatory requirements, navigates support and incentive options for interested parties, and creates business plans which promote and benefit Kansas agribusinesses.

Additionally, the team works to promote Kansas agricultural products around the world.  The team coordinates 10-to-15 international export trade missions with Kansas producers each year. The team also hosts numerous international delegations in Kansas in which visitors are introduced to Kansas agriculture and influenced to buy and invest in Kansas agriculture products.

The team brings a wide range of agricultural experience to the table that makes us well suited for working with private industry.  Experience includes: livestock production, processing, and meat marketing, grain production, storage, and processing, farmers’ market sales and promotion, banking, finance, and budgeting, along with work force preparation, management, and leadership.  The team looks forward to putting their skills to work for Kansas agriculture every day.

Jon Schallert Workshop: New Rules of Business Success - October 7-8, 2019

The New Rules of Business Success: Capturing Today’s Consumers as a Destination Business
Jon Schallert headshot

October 7-8, 2019 
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Greyhound Hall of Fame
407 S. Buckeye, Abilene, KS 67410

On October 7-8 in Abilene, Kansas, Jon Schallert will present his 2-day workshop on the “New Rules of Business Success: Capturing Today’s Consumers as a Destination Business”.

Attendees of this workshop will not only learn about Jon’s 14-step Destination strategy that can turn any business into a consumer magnet, but they will also see how every business today must start using the “New Rules” to create sustainable growth and profits.

Most businesses today don’t know that the methods to attract and keep their most profitable customers have changed.  During this workshop, Jon will illustrate how businesses must position and market their businesses in an entirely new way, as a Destination Business.

Attendees will learn that regardless of the business type (retail, restaurant, service, or professional practice), every business must start implementing these consumer-oriented principles in order to sustainably grow and thrive.  Attendees will benefit from hearing actual examples of successful Destination Businesses that Jon has studied over the last three decades that are now using these “New Rules” to their advantage. 

Along with Jon, Elizabeth Collins, President of WebCom Resources, will also be presenting a section on her “New Rules of Social Media”, as she explains how every business owner and entrepreneur must change they way they market via the popular forms of social media. Whether you manage the social media for your business, or you delegate it to an employee or outside company, Collins insight will allow you to spend less money while converting more prospects to customers.

Attendees of this workshop will also learn:

  • The five “Marketing Foundations” that consumers of today find credible, and why typical advertising isn’t on the list
  • How to immediately convey to your targeted consumer your differences that no other business can offer
  • How to dovetail the very best free and low-cost marketing tools into your already existing advertising campaigns
  • How to create free publicity opportunities that gets your business noticed in newspapers, magazines, television and online.
  • How to target and attract the most profitable customers, and literally multiply your top spending customers
  • How to get a customer to love your business in the first 7 seconds after they enter your doors
  • How to take the unique qualities of your business and immediately make them obvious to consumers, in your marketing, your business location, and on your website and social media channels

Attendees will leave with a list of immediately-implementable suggestions and many will wonder “Why haven’t we been doing this before?”

The KDA Division of Agriculture Marketing received a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant to help fund this workshop. The two-day agenda will include work sessions with group work, a social media working session, and question and answer sessions.


October 7: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. - 90-minute work sessions with 15-minute group work
October 8: 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. - social media working session

Registration: Register here by October 1. Meals will be provided.

This workshop is free to attendees as part of a USDA Rural Business Development Grant.

Jon Schallert's Biography

For additional information, contact Russell Plaschka, KDA agribusiness development director, at 785-564-7466 or

Sunflower Supreme Heifer Program

The Sunflower Supreme Replacement Heifer Program is a joint effort between K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Agriculture to provide research-based best management protocols for beef cattle producers.  This program is for Kansas producers who want to improve their management techniques and marketability of heifers. For more information, visit

Growing Kansas Agriculture - Industry Success Story

Growing up in the rural Kansas, Joe Fund has always been interested in projects that utilize both his brain and his hands. This is apparent by the many projects on his land in Shawnee County. His newest project is a hop yard. Fund has always loved growing things and he decided growing hops would be a new adventure.

After doing preliminary research on growing hops, Fund turned to the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Development Team for resources on growing hops in Kansas.

“Lynne Hinrichsen and Kellen Liebsch were very helpful and encouraging of my new project,” Fund said. “After discussing my plans with them, they put me in contact with Kansas Hop Company, which is a great resource as they have expertise in growing hops in Kansas.”

Since the hop vine can grow as tall as 25 to 30 feet, Fund implemented an innovative way to harvest the hops. “After reading up on growing hops, I decided to put my trellises on a winching system. Having the top lines on a winch allows me to harvest from the ground rather than having to climb on a ladder,” said Fund. Having an ADA-accessible hop yard will allow Fund to continue to grow his hop yard for many years.

Menoken Hop Yard is doing better than expected after reaping three harvests in the first year. “I am very happy with how well our hops have grown. We planted the hops in late March, had our first picking in mid/late August, and our last picking in early October,” said Fund.

Today, the Menoken Hop Yard grows two varieties of hops and sources to two local Topeka breweries. Menoken hops can be found in Menoken IPA at Happy Basset Brewing Company and in Menoken Harvest Pale Ale at Norsemen Brewing Company.

Looking to the future, Fund is excited about expanding his hop yard and taking on more new projects. “I will definitely keep the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Development Team in mind when starting new projects if I need additional resources and information.”