A-FAN is continually working to inform all Nebraskans about the importance of agriculture to the state’s economy. Developing livestock production is the main objective of this outreach. A-FAN in conjunction with the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture are working together to promote livestock development expansion.
*Attending the Expo and shown in the booth from left to right are Steve Martin (Dept. of Ag), Willow Holoubek (A-FAN), Wes Blecke (Wayne Area Economic Development), Jeff Keown (retired UNL), Cal Coffin (Central Confinement Services) and Rod Johnson (NSDA).
“The A-FAN Board has given directive that 70 percent of A-FAN’s effort be in livestock development,” Willow Holoubek, A-FAN executive director, said. “With partners, we are all working together to make an impact and jointly share how important livestock production is statewide,” she added.
UNL has brought together six professors from the Department of Agricultural Economics and a research analyst to create a booklet on livestock development. Entitled, Nebraska Livestock Expansion White Paper, the document frames the economic benefits of livestock expansion in Nebraska. Please find the entire article here. If you are interested in having a hard copy mailed to you, please contact the A-FAN office.
Nebraska Organizations Collaborate at World Ag Expo
In February, The Nebraska State Dairy Association, A-FAN and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture attended the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calf., to spread the message that Nebraska is open for dairy business. Taking the message, “Water, Land and Opportunity,” together these organizations displayed an exhibit that showcased video with testimonials from producers who have moved into Nebraska. They were able to have conversations about Nebraska’s benefits with dairy farmers from up and down the west coast. The majority of the conversations revolved around water availability and regulations. Many questions were also related to available facilities as well as the process for establishing a new facility, permitting, land availability and markets. A database has been created to remain in contact with the producers who visited the booth. Two lessons were learned by attending this event. First, there is a lot of interest in finding available and acceptable sites for dairying and Nebraska has a lot of competition. Second, the states of Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois all had a large presence and have attended the expo for years, meaning Nebraska has the opportunity to catch up to these states in terms of outreach at this event. Many attendees expressed appreciation that Nebraska exhibited at the expo. Together, NSDA, A-FAN and the Department of Agriculture were able to build connections with companies that service the dairy industry and individuals that are interested in what is available in Nebraska. To maintain this momentum, these organizations encourage others with an interest in the future of dairy in Nebraska, to get involved.
*A family from Nebraska stopped by the booth at the World Ag Expo.
On the Road with A-FAN
Currently, A-Fan has been traveling to communities and working with zoning committees and private individuals to expand livestock production. A-FAN shares information and guidance with community leaders who ask for assistance in making informed decisions about which opportunities are best in the long term for their economic vitality. The meetings and presentations from A-FAN empower these communities to make important decisions about livestock opportunities.
“If you don’t feel that you have people that are going to support the livestock industry I challenge you to get involved,” Greg Ibach, director of Nebraska Department of Agriculture stated at a recent meeting. “I think the Livestock industry needs leaders most importantly at the local level to stand up for opportunities for all of agriculture to survive in Nebraska.”
Livestock development is crucial for everyone in the state of Nebraska. “With constant challenges and changing regulations, everyone needs to become involved at the grassroots level to build support for the livestock industry. It will take a joint effort by all to continue to make livestock development a top priority for Nebraska,” Willow Holoubek said.