31st Annual Governor's Agriculture Conference touts opportunity

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Growth and opportunity was addressed at this year's 31st Annual Governor's Agriculture Conference.

As the needs of farmers change, Governor Rickett's says legislation has to adopt various approaches to continue to meet the needs of farmers.

We've all heard the terms and slogans, "Grow Nebraska." But farms at the 31st Annual Governor's Agriculture Conference were looking for action and not words. Governor Rickett's says the farm bill does exactly that.

"It has created a new industry for farmers which is hemp. We use to grow it here and the new farm bill has made it legal. We have a bill to decriminalize it and the Department of Agriculture is working on a way to regulate it."

Nebraska stands out when it comes to crops and production, but growing isn't enough for farmers to call their harvest successful.

"Part of the discussion here today is adding value to those products we grow here. How do we work together with government agencies to make government more efficient, more effective and make it easier to do business here in Nebraska," said Steve Wellman, Director, Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

The Governor stands strong and says international growth is a key path to expansion.

"We want to create more markets overseas and create more demand. The new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is an important part to get prioritized," adds Gov. Ricketts.

More value added agriculture will keep things moving in the right direction when it comes to expanding opportunities.

"Livestock is a great example of that, ethanol as well. The Costco poultry processing facility in Freemont is one of the ways we can increase value-added agriculture," continues Gov. Ricketts.

The Governor is also proud of their property tax relief plan, which increases the credit relief fund by 23%, as well as a bill that limits how fast it can go up.

The Governor presented Nebraska with the Silver Cup Award. Nebraska had the most investments per capita of any state. This is the third year in a row Nebraska has received this award by Sight Magazine.

The conference continues Tuesday at 9a.m.