Gov. Pete Ricketts has proclaimed this “FFA Week” in Nebraska.
Nebraska FFA President Jake Judge of Atkinson says FFA has 8,500 in Nebraska and he says it is growing due to the investment of others.
“More programs,” Judge says. “We’re having programs pop up across the state of Nebraska, investing in those urban areas.”
Judge acknowledges most FFA chapters are based in rural schools, but he says FFA is working to establish chapters in more urban areas of the state, including Omaha.
Judge sees a bright future for agriculture, driven by advances in technology.
“Look at the many advancements that agriculture has had over the past couple of years and the base of it is technology,” according to Judge. “We’re being able to produce a lot more food with a lot less ground. So, as we move that technology into the GMOs and stuff like that that is going to help us produce more food with less.”
Ricketts says state government has a role to play in making agriculture an attractive pursuit for young people.
“Some of the things that we have got to focus on to continue to make sure we have a strong agriculture here are, for example, what we’re doing to promote livestock, value-added agriculture, ethanol,” Ricketts says. “All that goes into helping to take what we produce, process it, make it more valuable, and that adds to our economy.”