LINCOLN – March 21 – 27 is National Ag Week as Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation making it Ag week in Nebraska.
According to Monday’s press briefing from the Governor’s Hearting Room in the Nebraska State Capitol, Ricketts began by stating hospitalizations were down to around 113 which was about the same as last July. Also, 38% of hospital beds and 42% of ICU beds were available as of Monday in Nebraska.
Governor Ricketts was joined by Steve Wellman, Director of Agriculture and Mark McHargue, President of Nebraska Farm Bureau Monday.
Governor Ricketts said this week is important for Nebraska.
“Agriculture is our #1 industry here in the state,” said Ricketts. “It accounts for about 1 in 4 jobs here in the state of Nebraska and about 20% of our overall state’s economy. It’s something that’s incredibly important for us.”
Tuesday is National Ag Day.
Farmers and ranchers worked very hard through the pandemic to feed the nation. Also, groups like the Dairy Association had their members gather funds to purchase refrigeration units for food banks.
Dairy production was up 3.6% from last year.
When it comes to agriculture, Nebraska exports what the state produces to help not only the nation, but the world.
“In fact, our soybean exports, again last year despite the pandemic, were up 38%; corn exports were up 20% and while beef exports were down about 4%, we still fared well enough to be able to replace Texas as the #2 beef exporting state in the country.”
Nebraska ranks #1 in popcorn, white corn and great northern bean production as well as #2 ethanol, cattle on feed, all cattle and calves and red meat production. Nebraska ranks #1 on a per capita basis as the state produces almost 6% of all ag commodities in the U.S. (#3 overall).
USDA reports nearly 60,000 jobs come open every year in agriculture. Governor Ricketts mentioned this is not just production agriculture, this is all the fields related to agriculture.
“So, you can also imagine the other types of career such as entomologists or the people who study insects, soil agronomists, the person who is the diesel mechanic or the welder that is involved with agriculture, the grain elevator operator, Ricketts mentioned. “I mean just all the different types of career fields that are related to agriculture are available every year for our young people to take advantage of.”
Governor Ricketts will be touring Ag operations across the state on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 23 – 24.
Tuesday, March 23
1:00 p.m. Bull Sale Kick-Off, Frenzen Sale Facility, 49241 State Highway 14, FULLERTON
2:30 p.m. Tour of Loup River Distilling, 503 Howard Avenue, ST. PAUL
Wednesday, March 24
10:00 a.m. Tour LandMark Implement, 745 N. 13th Street, HEBRON
1:30 p.m. Tour Diller Locker Company, 601 Commercial Street, DILLER
3:40 p.m. Tour Cornhusker Beef, 73234 628 Avenue, JOHNSON
Complete briefing (minus Q/A session):