Post Annual Meeting Press Release







Date:  November 27, 2017

Release Date: Immediate

Contact: Kristen Hassebrook, Executive Director

Phone: 402-421-4416 • E-mail:


AFAN unveils new livestock development projects


The unveiling of two special livestock development projects and an address by Governor Pete Ricketts were among the highlights of the joint annual stakeholders meeting of the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN) and We Support Agriculture (WSA).

Executive Director of AFAN and WSA, Kristen Hassebrook introduced new projects and initiatives that support producers, processors and communities in their livestock development work.


AFAN Executive Director Kristen Hassebrook introduced a new Producer Empowerment Initiative, which will provide producers with the knowledge and tools to work through the process of starting or expanding a livestock operation.  She says one section of the training is called “Community Conversations”.


“Community Conversations is focused on getting them prepared and giving them the right resources to talk with their neighbors, solicit buy-in from community members, and really get that grassroots support going at the community level for their existing operation or their expanding operation,” Hassebrook said.


The other section of the training is called “Know Before You Build”.

“This part focuses on the things that they need to go through the zoning permit application and to talk about manure management and how they’re going to manage those nutrients on their farm,” she said.


Producer Empowerment workshops will be held in key locations across the state starting in January.

Emily Skillett, AFAN Livestock Development Coordinator introduced a video project that will be a part of a strategic recruitment and grassroots campaign.

AFAN has also created new livestock improvement videos. Livestock Development Coordinator Emily Skillet said they feature many aspects of modern livestock production.


“Contract feeding, bringing the next generation to the farm, expansion and technology,” Skillet said. “But we didn’t want to stop there. Livestock and industry-related development is only successful when the communities embrace them.  So we set out to highlight the benefits of collaboration with communities.


Skillet says the new videos will be part of a strategic recruitment and grassroots support campaign, which will also feature radio and social media messages on livestock development.


In his remarks, Governor Ricketts said that his administration continues to look for opportunities to expand livestock agriculture in Nebraska.

“By making sure we continue to promote trade and promote our products around the world—and by making sure we have an environment that is livestock friendly and working collaboratively to put infrastructure in place to be able to grow animal agriculture,” Ricketts said. “If we’re going to grow Nebraska, we have to grow agriculture.”


The meeting concluded with the recognition of Kurt and Wayne Kaup, (K&W Farms) of Stuart, Nebraska, winners of the 2017 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award. The award is sponsored by the Sand County Foundation.

Kurt and Wayne Kaup, K & W Farms in Stuart, Nebraska were presented with the 2017 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award.  Pictured from the left: Craig Utter with the Sand County Foundation,  Wayne Kaup, Kim Schonebaum, center holding the award is Kurt Kaup, Katie Kaup, and Homer Buell, past winner of the award from Rose, Nebraska and current Board Member of the Sand County Foundation.


The annual meeting of AFAN and WSA was sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board and the Nebraska Corn Board.

Governor Pete Ricketts addressed the attendees by discussing the opportunities to grow Nebraska agriculture.

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