Media Roundup: Gov. Ricketts Celebrates Agriculture Across Nebraska
NBC Nebraska: Governor's Conference previews Ag Week
Brownfield Ag News: RICKETTS OPENS NEBRASKA GOVERNOR’S AG CONFERENCE
Brownfield Ag News: TOUR SHOWCASES NEBRASKA’S AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY
Gov. Pete Ricketts celebrated National Ag Week on Tuesday by releasing a new analysis of his proposal to change how farm- and ranchland is valued for tax purposes.
Legislative Bill 338 would switch to an income-based method for valuing agricultural land and cap valuation increases at 3.5 percent annually.
Ricketts said the analysis showed that the bill would have made a significant difference in ag land valuations during the past decade.
Instead of increasing by 252 percent since 2007, valuations would have grown by 36 percent over that period. Total ag land valuations would be $61 billion less over that period.
Omaha World-Herald: Ricketts opens ag conference with a pep talk on growth
Gov. Pete Ricketts opened the 29th annual Nebraska Governor’s Ag Conference on Tuesday with the message that the state’s economic growth will come on the shoulders of its agriculture industry.
The ag sector is the biggest contributor to Nebraska’s annual GDP growth, Ricketts said, and despite a downturn in commodities prices, there is opportunity for expansion ahead, especially in livestock.
With big demand for protein overseas, Ricketts called on President Donald Trump to fulfill his promise of negotiating trade deals in place of the Trans-Pacific Partnership the president rejected.
“We need to move quickly to establish those bilateral trade agreements,” without upsetting long-standing relationships, Ricketts said.
Grand Island Independent: Ricketts: Agriculture important to Nebraska and needs to be celebrated
According to Gov. Pete Ricketts, agriculture is important to the state’s economy and its impact needs to be recognized.
Ricketts spoke on the value of agriculture in Nebraska and what legislative actions the state plans to take on agriculture moving forward during a visit to the Raising Nebraska exhibit at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds.
Ricketts said he was in attendance to “celebrate National Agriculture Week and the contribution agriculture makes to our state.”
“It is so important that we recognize how agriculture impacts our state,” he said. “One important job in Nebraska is recognizing agriculture.”
Scottsbluff Star-Herald: Governor signs Ag Week proclamation in Scottsbluff
Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach stopped at the Western Nebraska Regional Airport as part of a three-day tour across Nebraska to support and celebrate National Ag Week.
“There’s three things we’re talking about to promote agriculture,” Ricketts told reporters before the event.
“First, is our ag friendly policy. In 2016, we signed up six more counties to our livestock friendly status, and that brings the total to 41,” Ricketts said. “It really says that county is open for business.”
The second point, Ricketts said, was to expand trade opportunities for Nebraska agriculture, especially Canada and Mexico, who are Nebraska’s largest trade partners.
“Finally, we continue to work on property taxes,” Ricketts said.
Ricketts continues to tout his legislation, The Agriculture Land Valuation Fairness Act (LB 338), which was introduced by State Senator Lydia Brasch, chair of the Agriculture Committee.
“We’re going to change the way we value ag land from market sales assessment to a income potential assessment, which would be more fair to our farmers and ranchers, and more standard across ag states,” Ricketts said.
Fremont Tribune: Local Ag leaders honored Tuesday
During a brief address, Gov. Pete Ricketts highlighted just how vital the state’s agriculture is to not only to Nebraska, but also to the rest of the United States and world as a whole through exporting and trade.
In 2015, trade accounted for approximately $10.6 billion of the state’s economy, Ricketts said, highlighting that $6.6 billion of those trade dollars were gained through agricultural trade.
The ability to produce food for Nebraska, other states domestically and the world will be vital with predicted growth patterns, Ricketts said.
“By 2050 there will be two billion more people on the face of the earth and we will have to double the food supply to meet that demand due to rising standards of living,” Ricketts said. “It’s an exciting opportunity for us, and there is no better state in this position to be able to take advantage of the demographic trends than Nebraska.”
Governor Pete Ricketts spoke today (Tuesday) at the Fremont Chamber’s Excellence in Agriculture awards luncheon. He thanked farmers for the work they do each and every day. He thanked the community of Fremont for being forward-thinking to partner with Lincoln Premium Poultry to initiate a poultry enterprise in the state and help “Grow Nebraska” agriculture. Ricketts also thanked Dodge County for being the first in the state to adopt the Nebraska Department of Ag’s livestock siting matrix as a tool to expand livestock production.
Tuesday, Governor Pete Ricketts unveiled a new analysis of LB338, an ag land property tax reform proposal introduced by Senator Lydia Brasch of Bancroft. The analysis shows that total ag land valuations statewide would have grown about $61 billion less over the last 10 years if this proposal had been in place.
“This analysis confirms that the Agricultural Valuation Fairness Act would provide long-term, structural reform,” said Governor Ricketts. “The massive spike we’ve seen in ag land valuations has been a key driver of high property taxes. Controlling the growth of valuations will protect Nebraska’s farm and ranch families, and build a bright future for Nebraska’s number one industry, agriculture.”
Since 2007, ag land valuations have increased 251.83 percent. The analysis conducted by the Nebraska Department of Revenue shows that ag land valuations would have only grown 36.29 percent had LB338 been in place.
State officials and ag producers have worked hard the past decade to build a Nebraska brand.
“We’re working to tell Nebraska’s story,” State Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach of Sumner said about efforts that include trade missions and developing a food brand now known internationally.
The work continues to build on the export growth already achieved, Ibach and Gov. Pete Ricketts said Tuesday afternoon to open the 29th-annual Governor’s Ag Conference in Kearney.
The governor noted that 96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. “We have to go out and get them,” Ricketts said.
Ricketts said Nebraska trade missions are important to establish trade relationships.
He also acknowledged efforts to do that in Asia may have been hurt by President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. Rickets said Japan’s 38.5 percent tariffs on U.S. animal products were set to drop to 9 percent under TPP.
“We continue to work with the Trump administration to grow these markets,” Ricketts said, explaining that Trump wants to develop bilateral agreements with a goal of getting tariffs even lower.
The need is to move quickly on such agreements, Ricketts said. “It’s up to the Trump Administration to hit these (tariff) targets,” he added.