Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska
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Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska

Who we are

The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (A-FAN) is a non-profit organization supported by Nebraska Beef Council, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Poultry Industries, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Pork Producers, Nebraska Soybean Association, Nebraska Soybean Board and Midwest Dairy Association.

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Meet Our Farmers

Nebraska farmers and ranchers combine a passion for their work with a compassion for their animals. Rarely taking a day off, they make countless sacrifices to put food on the table for their families — and families around the world. See and hear how these hardworking farmers and ranchers are making a difference for Nebraska.

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Become A Partner

We need your help in ensuring that all Nebraskans know the truth about high-quality, humane farming practices in our state.

By becoming a fan of animal agriculture in Nebraska, you can help keep our state economy strong while helping other Nebraskans have a better understanding of where their food comes from.

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news & events

New Technologies Available for Cow-Calf Producers

New Technologies Available for Cow-Calf Producers

April 10 - OMAHA, NE – Nearly 300 attendees packed a ballroom in Omaha to learn about some of the new technologies available for cow-calf producers. Over the course of two days, participants learned about calving under roof and heard from speakers discussing everything from design, economics, feeding and veterinary care to dry lot options. At the end of both days a panel of producers discussed the reasons they decided to put up a building and how they manage their cows under this type of setting. Drone footage and pictures of their barns gave attendees a better look at the layout of different barns and the panel was able to answer questions from the audience.

This is the second year an event like this has been held here in Nebraska, but this year AFAN, the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, partnered with the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) as well as the Nebraska Cattlemen and Iowa Cattlemen to make this event a multi-state event. “Both AFAN and CSIF work hard to provide our farmers and ranchers with learning opportunities,” stated Emily Skillett, Livestock Development Coordinator for AFAN, “These types of barns are a newer technology and with the decreasing availability of pasture land in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, we wanted to make sure our farmers knew that there were some options out there for ways to expand their cow herd.”

With new management styles, comes new considerations to take when it comes to herd health. Cow-calf producers, Chad and Amy Wilkerson of Linden, Iowa, stated that prevention is key when using the calving under-roof approach. The Wilkerson’s answered questions at the symposium as two of the eleven producer panelists. They currently raise 160 cow-calf pairs in a hoop barn they filled for the first time in January of 2016. “In this setting you need a good nutritionist and a good vet,” Chad said. “You’ve got to have those two people in your back pocket that you know are going to be there and understand what you’re up against.”

Dr. Sara Barber, Veterinary Medical Center, explains that controlling the under-roof environment starts with proper bedding management. Dr. Barber says pens should always be kept dry and that bedding can easily be evaluated with what she calls the “dry knee test”. “Fall on your knees and if your knees get wet when you get up, you know you need more bedding.”

According to Kelly Jones, co-manager of Cactus Feeders’ cow-calf division, feed is a major cost in this production system and requires rations that can be modified to coincide with the reproductive stage of the herd. Jones suggests that too much bunk space is far better than too little, and that creep feeding areas featuring lowered bunks should be installed before calving begins. Other barn modifications may include incorporating maternity areas, working facilities and raising dirt levels around water tanks for calves. This kind of intensive management style may not fit every operation, so asking questions and reviewing research is always highly recommended.

To view the presentations and drone footage from the Midwest Cow-Calf Symposium and learn more about livestock development in Nebraska, visit our website at www.becomeafan.org.

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Gov. Ricketts Announces National Ag Week Visits

Gov. Ricketts Announces National Ag Week Visits

March 17 - Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach announced three days of activities and stops across Nebraska to support and celebrate National Ag Week.  During March 21-23 the Governor and agriculture industry representatives will visit several Nebraska communities including Ainsworth, Auburn, Fremont, Friend, Grand Island, Omaha, Plattsmouth, Scottsbluff, Wakefield, and West Point.  National Ag Week will be celebrated on March 19-25, 2017 across Nebraska.

“Visiting these communities during National Ag Week is a great way to highlight agriculture in Nebraska and celebrate our state’s number one industry,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Our planned stopovers around the state pay tribute to those who contribute to agriculture from livestock and crop producers to the innovative technology, processing, and infrastructure that goes along with it.”

NDA Director Ibach stated the three-day tour will showcase Nebraska’s number one industry – agriculture.

“Nebraska’s agricultural industry is quite diverse from the east to west,” said NDA Director Ibach.  “With three days of stops and activities planned, we’re able to highlight a variety of Nebraska agriculture products and family farm operations.  Nebraska is a leader in production of meat, grain, dry beans, and many other commodities while also showing promise in new areas, like hops production.”

Gov. Ricketts said the group will use the stops to talk about the importance of Nebraska agriculture, livestock and value-added agriculture development, international trade, and agriculture education.  The Governor will also unveil the 2017 edition of the Nebraska Agriculture and You magazine.

The public is invited to attend many of these events.  Private events are indicated below.

Tuesday, March 21st

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.          Fremont Chamber Agriculture Awards Luncheon

Fremont Golf Club - 2710 N. Somers Ave., Fremont, NE

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.                       Tour of Diamond 6 Feeders 

Diamond 6 feeders - 294 18th Rd., West Point, NE

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.                       Tour of Wakefield Farms, LLP

Wakefield Farms, LLP - 86051 588th Ave, Emerson NE

6:00 – 8:30 p.m.                       National Ag Day Celebration Dinner

Wakefield Legion Hall -211 Main Street, Wakefield, NE

Wednesday, March 22nd

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.                     Tour of Beel Ranch

Beel Ranch – 41347 Beel Lane, Johnstown, NE

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.       Luncheon Event  

Mountain Time                          The Flight Deck, 250023 Airport Terminal St., Scottsbluff, NE

3:30-4:30 p.m.                          Raising Nebraska Open House

Raising Nebraska, S Locust St. & State Fair Boulevard, Grand Island

Thursday, March 23rd

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.                  Pork and Poultry Industry Breakfast

                                                          Pour House, 511 2nd St., Friend, NE

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.          Auburn FFA Tour and Town Hall Student Luncheon

                                                          (PRIVATE EVENT)

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.                       Tour of Midwest Hop Producers

18003 Club View Drive, Plattsmouth, NE

4:00 – 6 p.m.                              Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Celebration of Ag Week                                                                                                                                                    

Upstream Brewing Company, 514 S. 11th Street, Omaha

RSVP required as space is limited.  Please RSVP directly to:

avhouten@selectgreateromaha.com

RSVP Information for Events – You RSVP is not required, but appreciated.

To RSVP to attend any of the above events (unless otherwise noted), please email dianna.seiffert@nebraska.gov.  In the email please include:  the location you are submitting the RSVP for, and all names / affiliations for all parties attending.

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Who is A-FAN?

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mission & purpose

The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (A-FAN) is a non-profit organization supported by Nebraska Beef Council, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Poultry Industries, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Pork Producers, Nebraska Soybean Association, Nebraska Soybean Board and Midwest Dairy Association. Together, we work to support and facilitate growth of Nebraska Livestock, empowering communities by sharing agricultural knowledge to help them make informed decisions, and to connect opportunities throughout the entire food chain to sustain a thriving Nebraska agricultural sector for the future.

Meet Farm Families

Beef
Ranchers & Feeders

Nebraska is known as the Beef State because of its major role in producing beef to feed the world.

Dairy
Farmers

Nebraska dairy farmers are passionate about providing comfortable, clean, safe facilities for their cows.

Pork
Farmers

Pork producers are committed to providing proper care, handling and transportation for their pigs.

Poultry
Farmers

Poultry farmers are committed to caring for their animals, which entails making sure their poultry live in a safe, humane and comfortable environment.

Nebraska
Veterinarians

Advancements in technology and medicine are resulting in a higher level of animal care. As a result, the food we feed our families is safer and healthier than ever before.