A celebration of agriculture in Nebraska begins with the launch of a new magazine, a poster contest for farm kids and a statewide tour to discuss farming’s impact on the state economy.
Gov. Dave Heineman today outlined the plans during a news conference at the Capitol, which included the Nebraska farm family featured in the new magazine, Nebraska Agriculture and You.
The magazine will be produced by Journal Communications for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, supported by the advertising in the magazine. It seeks to educate consumers on how farms and ranches impact their lives. The inaugural issue will feature the Brian and Hilary Maricle family, which farms near Albion.
State Agriculture Director Greg Ibach said the magazine will be widely distributed.
“And we’re hoping to place it in places where consumers are waiting for an appointment, like in a doctor’s office or somewhere where they can sit down and read it and get something out of the article, some understanding of how their food, fuel or fiber is produced,” Ibach said.
Ibach explained that even in Nebraska there are many consumers who don’t understand their connection to agriculture.
“We know that there are consumers even in some of our smallest towns that don’t really understand what happens day-to-day on the farms and ranches that surround them,” Ibach said. “So, then when you move into Kearney, Grand Island, Columbus, Lincoln and Omaha there are many families that are several generations removed from the farm.”
The magazine is being launched just ahead of National Ag Week, March 17th to the 23rd. The governor, Farm Bureau representatives and others will tour the state on the 19th to discuss the future of agriculture and agriculture’s impact on Nebraska’s economy.
Nebraska Farm Bureau First Vice President Mark McHargue said the tour will discuss the impact of agriculture on the state economy as well as careers in agriculture.
“So we’re excited about next week, celebrating agriculture, because I believe it’s one of the noblest professions that you can be a part of,” McHargue stated.
The statewide tour for the first time will include a stop in Omaha.
National Ag Week activities also include a foster contest for schoolchildren.
This year Nebraska Department of Agriculture had 2,987 entries, about double the usual amount. Winners include:
In the 1st and 2nd grade division:
1st place is: Trevor Goesch a second grader from West Boyd in Butte
2nd place is: Matt Cover a second grader from Weeping Water Public School in Weeping Water
3rd place is: Samantha Burch a second grader from Weeping Water Public School in Weeping Water
Governor’s Choice is: Noah Morlan a second grader from Weeping Water Public School in Weeping Water
In the 3rd and 4th grade division:
1st place is: Ryan Sand a fourth grader from Tri-County Public Schools in DeWitt
2nd place is: Johnny Kaczmarek a third grader from Holy Ghost Catholic in Omaha
3rd place is: Levi Belina a third grader from Howells Community Catholic School in Howells
Governor’s Choice is: Evie Schlickbernd a fourth grader from Guardian Angels in West Point
In the 5th and 6th grade division
1st place is: Tatum Vondra a sixth grader from Milford Elementary in Milford
2nd place is: Elizabeth Calderon a fifth grader from Knickrehm Elementary in Grand Island
3rd place is: Gustavo Matias a fifth grader from Knickrehm Elementary in Grand Island
Governor’s Choice is: Sierra Kile a sixth grader from St. Cecilia in Hastings
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman news conference on National Ag Week. [12:30]