VOL. 30 ISSUE 6
Farm Bureau News
JUNE 20, 2012
Summer Fun In Nebraska page 14
ROAD TRIP Nebraska Now Has 16 Livestock Friendly Counties
Farm Bill Takes Spotlight in Senate
Capturing Energy from Hog Manure
Lean, Finely Textured Beef Will Be Served in Schools
JUNE 20, 2012
contents In Every Issue 3-4 County News 5 Member Benefits 6 What’s Cooking? 7 National News 14 Cover Story 26 Want Ads
ROAD TRIP On the Cover Take a road trip across Nebraska this summer! Our top suggestions are the Seward 4th of July Celebration, Oregon Trail Days in Gering, Wayne Chicken Show, Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell and Kool-Aid Days in Hastings. Photo Illustration by Tara Grell
Recipes See what recipes we cooked up to celebrate the 4th of July and National Hot Dog Month. page 6
Nebraska Farm Bureau News
The President’s Message
What Is Important
By Steve Nelson, President Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation® You have probably heard about the tragic death of Anthony Blum, the young Broken Bow High School basketball coach who died in a car accident on June 1 along with fellow coach Zane Harvey. Anthony was our neighbor when he was growing up in the Keene, Hildreth and Minden area. He was a fine young man, doing lots of good things, and his death at age 24 is truly a loss: to his family, his friends, and the communities where he lived and worked. When I think of Anthony, his parents Dale and Jane, his brothers Gavin and Carson, I cannot help also thinking of our daughter Sarah, who died unexpectedly following surgery in 2006 when she was 21. I know the pain the Blum family is feeling.
COMMUNITY SUPPORT One of the things that helped our family the most was the outpouring of support we received from those we knew well and those we did not. It is about families, neighbors and faith communities. It is something we will always be thankful for. I know this is happening for Anthony’s family as well. One of the greatest fears of parents who have lost a child is that their son or daughter will be forgotten. That fear is shared by anyone who has lost a loved one. It is why we set aside Memorial Day, to remember our soldiers and others who have gone before us.
GIVING A BETTER LIFE This year on Memorial Day, we had the largest turnout yet, 150 people, for the 5K Donate Life Fun Run.
Stacy Nelson poses for a picture with the Axtell High School cheerleaders who helped sponsor the 2012 Axtell Donate Life Fun Run in honor of Stacy’s sister, Sarah Nelson, who was a cheerleader and cross country runner for the school. Sarah died unexpectedly following surgery in 2006 when she was 21. The event encourages people to make plans to donate their organs and to join the organ donor registry.
The run is sponsored by the Axtell High School cheerleaders; Sarah was a cheerleader and cross country runner. This event encourages people to make plans to donate their organs and to join the organ donor registry. Sarah had told us that if anything ever happened to her to “give away everything you can.” Her gifts gave a better life to more than 60 people. Our community’s generosity in honoring her memory by sponsoring and supporting the Fun Run fills my heart in a way I can’t explain. Giving and receiving is what makes us a community and it is what makes Farm Bureau such a strong organization as well.
Can Care-A-Van Results Nebraska Farm Bureau sponsored the 10/11 Can Care-A-Van again this year. The goal was to collect 94,000 pounds of food. See the story to find out how many pounds were collected. page 13
150 runners and walkers from across that state turned out Memorial Day Weekend to participate in the 5K Donate Life Fun Run.
VOLUME 30 ISSUE 6 June 20, 2012 USPS 375-780 ISSN 0745-6522
Wildfires in Nebraska See what officials are doing in Harrison and Potter, Neb., to battle wildfires brought on by extremely dry conditions.
Official publication of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation
Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Mission is Strong Agriculture ...... Strong Nebraska. Drought Concerns A lack of precipitation has farmers and ranchers worrying about drought conditions. Find out what Farm Bureau is doing to help. page 15
Yearly subscription: 50 cents of membership dues. Associate Member, Nebraska Press Association
EDITORIAL STAFF Editor/Advertising/Writer: Tina Henderson firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 4446 Writer: Craig Head email@example.com or ext. 4435 Graphic Designer/County News/ Photo Contest: Tara Grell firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 4494 Want Ads and County Annual Meeting Notices: Natalie Friesen email@example.com or ext. 4485
NEBRASKA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION Steve Nelson, president (Axtell) Mark McHargue, first vice president (Central City) Rob Robertson, chief administrator/ secretary-treasurer (Lincoln)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Sherry Vinton, second vice president (Whitman) Nathan Bartels (Elk Creek) Andy DeVries (Ogallala) Del Ficke (Pleasant Dale) Jason Kvols (Laurel) John C. Martin (Pleasanton) Scott Moore (Bartley) Kevin Peterson (Osceola) Tanya Storer (Whitman) Shelly Thompson (Whitney)
NEBRASKA FARM BUREAU NEWS is published monthly, except July, by Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, 5225 South 16th St., Lincoln, NE 68512. Periodicals postage paid at Lincoln, NE and additional entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Nebraska Farm Bureau News Attn: Tina Henderson P.O. Box 80299, Lincoln, NE 68501.
Nebraska Farm Bureau News
JUNE 20, 2012
COUNTY NEWS Lancaster County Farm Bureau
Students Visit McGill Farm Near Waverly Fourth graders from Meadowlane Elementary School in Lincoln touched a calf on Erma McGill’s farm in rural Waverly on May 4. Their teacher, Sandy Dorn, and McGill have been participants in the Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Ag Pen Pal program for many years. While visiting the farm, the students were able to experience firsthand how important farms are to their everyday lives and how food comes from the farm or ranch and gets to their table. Lancaster County Farm Bureau board member Herschel Statts taught the students about seeds farmers use. Ellen Hellerich, former AITC statewide coordinator, showed the students pictures of products they eat which came from the products grown on the farm and products made from different grains, such as packing material and crayons. Students also got to see sheep and ride a horse. The pen pal program links classrooms and farm/ranch families from across Nebraska. They exchange letters with each other three times during the school year.
Kimball/Banner County Farm Bureau
Students Learn About Grains and Antique Tools at 13th Annual Ag Fest Kendall and Beverly Atkins held the 13th Annual Ag Fest May 8 at their historic Brookside Farm located just north of Kimball. One hundred fifth and sixth grade students and 30 volunteers from the Kimball/Banner county area participated in eight learning stations staffed by Farm Bureau members, friends, volunteers and ag professionals. The students rotated through stations every 20 minutes. The stations focused on safety, rangelands, use of an acre, water conservation, antique tools, animals, wheat and grains, and branding. Kimball FFA junior and senior students also presented a program on the importance of agriculture.
Dodge and Douglas County Farm Bureaus
Students Learn About Local Agriculture at ‘A Day on the Farm’ Dodge and Douglas County Farm Bureaus helped support the ‘A Day on the Farm’ event held April 25-27. The event is organized by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension from Dodge and Washington counties. More than 700 third grade students attended this year’s event at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Arlington. Students learned where their food comes from and hopefully developed a positive attitude and interest in local agriculture by participating in six 15-minute hands-on sessions which ran concurrently. The sessions focused on agriculture technology, alternative agriculture, beef, corn/soybeans, dairy and swine. Pictured are Bennington Elementary students inspecting the pigs on display during the swine session.
Thank You Ag Pen Pals! Nebraska’s Agriculture in the Classroom program, which is managed by Nebraska Farm Bureau, thanks the 282 farm and ranch families who participated in the 2011-2012 Ag Pen Pal Program. Thanks to all Ag Pen Pals who invest their time to help educate today’s youth about the importance of agriculture! If you would like more information about the Ag Pen Pal Program, or if you know someone who would like to participate, contact Bailey Kobs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-546-3496. For more information about AITC visit: www.agclassroom.org/ne
JUNE 20, 2012
Nebraska Farm Bureau News
COUNTY NEWS Jefferson County Farm Bureau
County Farm Bureau Awards Fairbury High Graduate $500 Scholarship Jefferson County Farm Bureau has awarded Jarrod Shinn of Fairbury a $500 scholarship. He is the son of Gary and Cyndi Shinn and graduated from Fairbury High School this year. He is planning to attend Central Community College-Columbus with an intended major of electromechanical technology. The scholarship is designed to provide assistance to a student who wants to continue his or her education at the post-secondary level in an agricultural area or agriculture-related field.
Douglas County Farm Bureau
Four $2,000 Scholarships Presented to Local Students Douglas County Farm Bureau has awarded four $2,000 college scholarships to recipients Abbey Christensen (upper left), Keith Grimm (upper right), Benjamin Kahlandt (bottom left) and Darrick Spilker (bottom right). Christensen graduated from Bennington High School and will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with the goal of someday being a family physician. She is the daughter of Don and Denise Christensen. Grimm graduated from Douglas County West High School and will attend Iowa Western Community College, majoring in pre-engineering. He is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Grimm. Kahlandt also graduated from DC West High School and will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in agronomy. He is the son of Wayne and Melinda Kahlandt. Spilker graduated from Elkhorn High School and will attend UNL, majoring in agricultural engineering. He is the son of Jeffrey and Marcia Spilker. The scholarships are payable in four $500 per semester segments to the student’s college or university upon proof of the students’ enrollment each semester.
IT’S YOUR SHOT!
2012 Nebraska Farm Bureau® Photo Contest
REMINDER: Entry Deadline is Friday, July 13, 2012 For official rules and entry form visit www.nefb.org and click on the Photo Contest link. CATEGORIES: • All in a Day’s Work
or, McPhers on
• Nebraska’s Natural Beauty
PRIZES: ADULT: 1st Place in each category – $150 2nd Place in each category – $100 3rd Place in each category – $50 Grand Prize: digital camera, bag and SD card (chosen using 1st place winners of each category and decided by judges at NEFB State Office)
YOUTH: one winner will receive a digital camera
Nebraska Farm Bureau News
JUNE 20, 2012
Staying Safe on Your Summer Road Trip West Des Moines, Iowa — With kids out of school, summer is the perfect time for a family trip. To save money, many families will be bypassing the airport and hitting the road. In fact, according to a survey by Trip Advisor, 70 percent of those traveling this past Memorial Day got there by car. A separate survey by Harris Interactive revealed that Americans plan on racking up an average of 1,172 miles in leisure driving over the next three months. If your summer vacation travel starts in the car, Farm Bureau Financial Services offers these tips to help you prepare. Essentials for the Car Traveling smart means traveling safe. Pack your car with nonperishable food, water, a first-aid kit, blanket and flashlight. In an emergency, these items could save your life or the life of another motorist. It is also important to keep a set of jumper cables in your vehicle. Emergency Contact Information Keep emergency names and numbers handy. If you have a cell phone, enter your emergency contacts under the acronym ICE (“in case of emergency”), so paramedics, firefighters, police officers or hospital personnel can contact your next of kin to obtain impor-
becoming a major roadblock during your trip. About a week before you go, have a mechanic perform a full safety inspection on your car, including checking belts, hoses and battery, which will give you time to make any needed repairs.
tant medical information. Also leave key contact information and detailed trip information with friends or family at home. Proof of Insurance Carry proof of auto insurance, car registration and your driver’s license at all times. In the event of an accident or traffic stop, you will need this information. Farm Bureau Financial Services customers can keep their agent’s contact information at the ready with the My FBFS iApp. The app comes complete with a travel game to ward off boredom, a gas mileage tracker and more. Vehicle Maintenance Keep routine vehicle maintenance such as oil changes, fluid levels and tire pressure up to date. This will keep a minor setback from
RV Maintenance Just because everything was working when you put your RV or trailer in storage doesn’t mean it is now. So just like your vehicle, you will want to check tires, batteries, connections, latches, propane tanks, fire extinguisher and water system, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve used it. Also, now’s a good time to make sure your recreational vehicle coverage is up to date on all your toys, especially if you’ve added a motorcycle, ATV or boat in the off season. Talk to your Farm Bureau agent to learn more. Key Problem-Solver One of the most common travel issues is locking your keys in the vehicle. To avoid headaches and expense, take a spare set of keys and be sure to keep them where they won’t accidentally be locked in the car. Consider adding emergency roadside assistance coverage to your car insurance policy, which
TWO STAYS PAYS
can cover both emergency towing and services like jump-starts, flat-tire fixes, fuel delivery and lockouts. Get the Best Gas Mileage Fuel can be the biggest expense of your trip. To squeeze more miles out of every tank, drive the speed limit. Higher speeds increase wind resistance and reduce your engine’s efficiency. Also, check the sticker on your doorjamb for the recommended pounds per square inch (psi) and keep your tires properly inflated. Follow these simple tips and enjoy your travels worry-free. Contact your Farm Bureau agent to make sure your car insurance is up to date and to learn about other steps you can take to ensure your getaway goes exactly as planned. About Farm Bureau Financial Services Through an exclusive, multi-state agent force, the companies affiliated with the Farm Bureau Financial Services brand underwrite, market and distribute a broad range of insurance and financial services products to individuals and businesses. Learn more about us by visiting www.fbfs.com. Or, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
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*Member must register at ChoiceHotels.com before arrival and book their stays via travel agent or corporate online booking tool at qualifying rates. Choice Privileges member number must be provided upon check-in. After a second qualifying stay with arrival between 5/17/12 and 8/15/12, you will be awarded enough bonus points to reach the 8,000 point level, which can be redeemed until 9/30/12 for one (1) $50 gift card at defined retailers on ChoiceHotels.com/giftcard. For Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Quality®, Sleep Inn®, Clarion®, Cambria Suites® or Ascend Collection® hotels, a stay is defined as any number of consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs. For Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, or MainStay Suites® hotels, a stay is defined as two (2) or more consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs. Allow 72 hours from check-out for points to post. Only members earning this bonus qualify to redeem for the $50 gift card. Only members that register for the promotion are eligible to earn the defined promotional gift cards during the promotion. Terms and conditions apply to $50 gift card options. See card for details. You must maintain an address in the U.S. (including U.S. territories) or Canada to be eligible for this promotion. For Choice Privileges program details, eligible rates, eligible countries and point redemption rules, visit choiceprivileges.com.
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JUNE 20, 2012
Nebraska Farm Bureau News
WHAT’S COOKING? If you want to submit your own recipes, and photos if you have them, send them via email to email@example.com.
July Celebrations: 4th of July and National Hot Dog Month
Ingredients One recipe for pie crust or one ready-made unbaked pie crust One egg white Small amount of sugar (decorative sugar is pretty) Pie Crust Ingredients 2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup shortening 1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon vinegar 3-5 tablespoons cold water Fruit Filling Ingredients 1-1/2 lbs. berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries or a combination) 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 2/3 cups sugar 2 tablespoons quick-cook tapioca 1 tablespoon butter Directions 1. Roll out pie crust to 1/8-inch thickness. 2. Using cookie cutters, cut out at least eight shapes (stars, hearts, etc.) for individual pies. 3. Place on an ungreased sheet pan; brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. 4. Bake at 375° F for about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack. 5. In a small bowl, mash 1 cup berries with lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar; stir in the tapioca and let stand for 15 minutes. 6. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the berry mixture and remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Cook, stirring often, until hot, about 3 minutes. 7. Add the remaining berries and bring to a boil; boil 3 minutes, stirring often; lower heat, cover and simmer, stirring often, until the tapioca is tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool. 8. Spoon filling into dishes. Place pie crust pieces on top. Yield: 6 servings
BLT Hot Dog
Summer Orzo Salad
Dressing Ingredients 1 envelope Ranch Dressing powder 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar Salad Ingredients 1 cup orzo, cook according to directions, cool 1 cup black olives sliced 1 cup diced red pepper 1/2 cup feta cheese 2 tablespoons fresh basil or flat-leafed parsley, chopped 1 cup chopped cucumber Directions 1. In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients. Blend well. 2. In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients. 3. Pour dressing over vegetables so that everything is evenly coated. Refrigerate until serving time. Yield: 10-12 servings
Red and Blue Berry Lemonade Slush
Ingredients 2 cups lemon juice (bottled or fresh -- fresh is best) 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries 1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar 4 cups cold water Contributor’s note: I used frozen berries, thawed. Directions 1. In a blender, combine the lemon juice, fruits and sugar. Process until blended. Strain and discard the seeds. 2. In a 2 1/2 quart pitcher, combine blended mixture and water. Pour into a freezer container. Cover and freeze for eight hours or overnight. 3. Just before serving remove from the freezer and let stand for 30-45 minutes or until slushy. Yield: 2 quarts (8-10 servings)
Ingredients One hot dog per person One strip of bacon per person One bun per person Lettuce, shredded Tomatoes, diced Mayonnaise or salad dressing Directions 1. Fry thick strips of bacon until crisp. 2. Fry hot dogs in the drippings. 3. Serve on toasted buns with mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, diced tomato and bacon.
Contributor’s note: I found this an especially refreshing summer beverage: fill a glass half full of the slush and finish filling the glass with lemon-lime soda.
UPCOMING MONTHS Below are themes for the coming months! Submit your recipe to: firstname.lastname@example.org August – All American Breakfast Month and National Chicken Month September – National Pork Month and National Pizza Month October – National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month and National Pepper Month
Festive Non-Pies Fruit Filling recipe from Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine. Summer Orzo Salad from Mandy Smidt, Johnson County Farm Bureau member. BLT Hot Dog recipe from www.foodnetwork.com. Red and Blue Berry Lemonade Slush recipe from Taste of Home Magazine. All photos from Lois Linke, wife of Karl Linke, Nebraska Farm Bureau district director of member services for the southeast.
Nebraska Farm Bureau News
JUNE 20, 2012
NATIONAL NEWS Congressional Happenings have more certain and predictable market access as a result of Russia’s commitment not to raise tariffs on any products above the negotiated rates and to apply international food safety standards in a uniform and transparent manner.” Farm Bureau will now push for the bill to reach the Senate floor for passage. • Russia Trade Legislation Introduced Farm Bureau is very supportive of recently introduced legislation to establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Sens. John Thune (R-SD), John Kerry (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ) unveiled legislation that will allow U.S. agriculture to participate in Russia’s upcoming World Trade Organization membership. “Russia PNTR is a critical step toward ensuring the U.S. benefits from Russia’s accession to the WTO and remains competitive in that market,” American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said. “U.S. farmers will
• Ag Coalition Urges Use of Science in Regulating Antibiotics A coalition of agricultural organizations, including Farm Bureau, recently sent a letter to Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) regarding her support of severely restricting antibiotic use in livestock and poultry production. The coalition cited several published, peer-reviewed risk assessments showing any threat to human health from antibiotic use in livestock and poultry production is negligible, and pointed out that many of the bacterial illnesses becoming resistant to antibiotics in human medicine have little or no link to antibiotic use in food animals. The coalition also noted in the letter that a stringent federal approval
and regulatory process for antibiotics is already in place. In February, Slaughter asked food company representatives to submit to her by June 15 their purchasing policies related to antibiotic use in food animals. She is the primary author of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (H.R. 965), which seeks to ban the use in livestock and poultry production of several classes of antibiotics employed for preventing and controlling diseases and for promoting nutritional efficiency. Farm Bureau opposes the legislation. • New Trade Position Wanted at USDA Many of the nation’s agricultural organizations have been pushing for a new
undersecretary position at USDA to oversee trade issues. The position would be under the purview of the undersecretary of Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services who also oversees the Farm Service Agency. Farm Bureau and 24 other organizations say USDA’s trade functions were last reorganized in 1978 when trade was not a significant issue for U.S. farmers. The groups are asking leaders in the House Agriculture Committee to include a provision in their version of the next farm bill that would establish the separate position for trade. “An undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs will provide a singular focus on trade and foster more effective coordination of transparent, rules-based trade policies in other USDA agencies,” the groups said in a letter to lawmakers. The Senate version of the farm bill does contain a provision authored by Nebraska U.S. Sen Mike Johanns that would require USDA to study the possible reorganization of its trade functions.
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JUNE 20, 2012
Nebraska Farm Bureau News
Nebraska Now Has 16 Livestock Friendly Counties; 7 More Want To Be LFCs Nebraska now has 16 official Livestock Friendly Counties, with the addition of Scotts Bluff County on May 21. The Livestock Friendly County designation from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture recognizes counties that have demonstrated support for the stateâ€™s livestock industry. Agriculture is Nebraskaâ€™s largest industry and nearly half of all agricultural receipts come from livestock, which generate at least $6 billion each year. Fully half of Nebraska farms have a livestock or poultry operation, and more than one-third of the grain grown in Nebraska is fed to livestock. Seven additional counties are in various stages of seeking the LFC designation. The program began in 2005, after the Nebraska Legislature adopted and Gov. Dave Heineman signed a bill sponsored by then-State Sen. Phil Erdman of Gering. Morrill County Farm Bureau member Jeff Metz helped draft the legislation and was instrumental in Morrill County being named the first LFC. â€œWe visited with the county board and jumped through more hoops than were probably necessary, such as holding more public hearings than were probably needed. But we wanted to be certain there werenâ€™t any questions out thereâ€? about the program and the support for livestock production that it expresses, he said June 4. STREAMLINED APPLICATION Today the process is more streamlined, according to Steve Martin, ag promotion coordinator with the Department of Agriculture, who is responsible for the LFC program. It only requires a county board to have one public meeting prior to submitting an application. When a county expresses interest in the program, Martin meets with the county board to explain whatâ€™s involved. Generally board members decide after the meeting â€œâ€™Weâ€™re
good with thisâ€™ and go forward with a public hearing,â€? Martin said, â€œor they ask their zoning board to take a look at it and make a recommendationâ€? if the county is zoned. Counties may hold an informational meeting prior to the public hearing. Martin attends the meetings to be certain participants hear enough firsthand information to get their questions answered. PROCESS IS FLEXIBLE Counties apply for the Livestock Friendly County designation following the public hearing. The application process is very flexible, Martin said, and allows a county to be evaluated on its own merits by NDA. Local zoning regulations are used as a basis for evaluating a countyâ€™s livestock friendliness as part of the process, but if a county isnâ€™t zoned, it can demonstrate its support in other ways, through statements on the importance of livestock to the county, its economic value to the county and efforts by the county to promote livestock. Recent history of livestock development in a county also can be used as a guide, Martin said. â€œAn â€˜Ag Appreciation Dayâ€™ is a great example of something a county can do to show how important livestock is to the economic health of the county,â€? Martin said. Counties that receive the LFC designation can promote themselves as such and display the LFC logo on paperwork and signage. They also are promoted by NDA in its domestic and international marketing programs. BENEFITS FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS But itâ€™s also important to recognize that the designation means a lot to individual livestock producers, Martin said: â€œThey know that as responsible livestock producers, they can expand their operation and theyâ€™re going to find support in their county government.â€?
Gov. Dave Heineman announced Scotts Bluff County as Nebraskaâ€™s newest Livestock Friendly County May 21. With the addition of Scotts Bluff County, there are now 16 counties designated as Livestock Friendly through the state program coordinated by the Department of Agriculture. Scotts Bluff County will receive road signs bearing the program logo to display along highways. The designation ceremony was attended by several Farm Bureau members, along with Farm Bureau staff members Roger Berry and Tim Horn. Pictured are Scotts Bluff County Commissioners Mark Masterton, Mike Marker, Steve Stratton, Gov. Heineman, Ken Meyer and Sherry Blaha. Companies from outside Nebraska contact the Nebraska Department of Agriculture when theyâ€™re looking for a place to locate. The Livestock Friendly County designation is a strong selling point. â€œRight now we are hearing from mainly dairy and swine operations looking to locate or expand in Nebraska. Many swine operations are already shipping pigs to Nebraska for market, and theyâ€™re asking why not raise them in Nebraska, too,â€? he said. When heâ€™s asked to suggest a good location for a companyâ€™s facility, Martin thinks of the Livestock Friendly Counties first. â€œWe know their situation, who the contact people are and that they want more livestock development in their county. While we actively promote all our counties to these
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companies, with the non-designated counties it just takes some additional digging to get all the appropriate information.â€? LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Morrill County Commissioner Steve Erdman agrees about the importance of the program. He told the Scottsbluff Star-Herald at the designation ceremony for Scotts Bluff County that the LFC designation has helped Morrill County attract businesses. â€œWe had two ethanol plants looking for a location,â€? Erdman said. â€œOne plant specifically told us they considered us because of our livestock friendly designation.â€? Gov. Heineman continues to be a strong supporter of the program. He said at the Scotts Bluff designation ceremony, â€œBeing part of the Livestock Friendly program is a way to recognize the tremendous impact the livestock industry has on Main Street and the local economy. It provides jobs for those working with animals and a marketplace for grain and hay producers, while also adding value to those products. With this designation, Scotts Bluff County has demonstrated it is open to agribusiness and the benefits that come from responsible livestock production.â€? The county-level Livestock Friendly designation is unique to Nebraska, according to Martin. â€œThe difference we have with other states is our local zoning, local control. In other states, if a livestock operation meets state requirements, it can pretty much locate anywhere, so their promotional efforts are different. Here, with local control, the Livestock Friendly County program really does become a state-county partnership in economic development.â€?
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