The facts say it all. Agriculture is Nebraska’s number one industry and one in three jobs is dependent on farming. The Governor’s Ag Conference is in its second day in Kearney and Governor Dave Heineman credits agriculture for the good economic conditions we have right here.
“The fact of the matter is when you talk to the pork guys and the cattlemen both have had a tough couple of years. Both think this next year is going to be better. Commodity farmers have done well and we think they will continue to move forward. You look at ethanol, biofuels, all this is an opportunity for Nebraska, for agriculture in particular, which we need to remind ourselves which is the number one industry in the state.”
The Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Greg Ibach says the theme of this year’s conference is about telling a story. He says the more we have to communicate with others, the better chances we will have to sell our products in a world market.
“Whether that be to consumers. Whether that be to our own industry or to government official. How we do that. I think that in general, we have a strong agriculture production. We produce high quality goods here in Nebraska and we want to be abler to promote them worldwide and that includes telling our story.”
J.B. Milliken, University of Nebraska President says the work done at the university helps to keep producers in the know of future trends and technology.
“In areas of biofuels and water. In gut function work that has implications for animal and human health. There are many areas at the University of Nebraska where we are partnering with producers to increase productivity, to provide prop for drop, to use the latest technology to help producers in Nebraska be successful.”
Darci Vetter is the Deputy Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services with the USDA and says work continues to get Nebraska products all over the world.
“Develop these new technologies as we start telling that story and creating new products, the USDA can really help leverage that by connecting those producers with producers overseas and by reducing trade barriers that other countries have in place to make sure we have the opportunity to sell our products at a number of markets around the world.”
Governor Heineman stated that Nebraska is in a great position as far as agriculture goes. He stated he and his staff will go anywhere in the world to promote Nebraska products. Value added agriculture is improving with demand for ethanol once again on the rise. That increases the chances for jobs in rural areas. Nebraska’s transportation system can’t be beat being the home to Union Pacific and BNSF railroads and the trucking industry can get goods to anywhere in the U-S within two days. He also said that wind energy is also becoming more important to Nebraska. The Governor’s Ag Conference wraps up today.