Nebraska’s 27th director for the state Department of Agriculture is Syracuse farmer Steve Wellman.
His first day on the job is today.
Wellman has experience with the state and U.S. soybean associations serving in leadership positions.
He said his experiences at the American Soybean Association will transfer to his new role.
“The experience of international trade meetings – actually leading them or participating in others – having those discussions on non-trade tariff barriers in Japan, the European Union, and China, I think will work well for me here,” Wellman told reporters on a conference call.
The 56 year old points to working with farm groups in South America to partner on gaining more access to international markets as a success.
“What I learned from that and will carry forward here is to be open to partnerships and be open to working with people with common interests,” he said. “I believe that’s a good way to move forward and really be effective.”
Wellman has grown soybeans, corn, wheat, and alfalfa on the family farm as well as raised cattle.
He earned an associate degree in Production Agriculture from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.
Welllman has already met some of the department’s staff and said he discussed goals with them.
“I believe they have a great record of executing a wide range of responsibilities,” he said. “I look forward to working together with them on promoting Nebraska Ag, carrying out their duties of protecting animal and plant health, and protecting our consumers.”
Wellman will earn a salary of $115,000.