Luke Robson, Governor’s Office 402-471-1967
Christin Kamm, Ag Department, 402-471-6856
LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletic Director Bill Moos will address the 2018 Governor’s Ag Conference at the “Celebrate Nebraska Agriculture” reception on Wednesday, March 7. The Governor’s Ag Conference, March 7-8 in Kearney, is a great opportunity for the ag community to discuss important topics like international trade, ag diversification in rural Nebraska, and the importance of state ag leaders advocating at the national level.
After February 21, the conference registration fee increases from $100 to $125.
“The Governor’s Ag Conference has been a long-standing tradition for 30 years,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman. “It gives producers and agri-business leaders in Nebraska an opportunity to talk with the Governor about the state’s number one industry and provide direct input on how to support future growth in agriculture. We know it can be hard for farmers and ranchers to rearrange schedules, so we work to make this conference worth the extra effort to attend.”
The conference starts Wednesday, March 7, at 3:30 p.m., with welcomes and remarks from Governor Pete Ricketts and NDA Director Wellman.
A panel presentation will follow featuring Nebraska producers serving in national leadership roles. Panelists include:
• Don Bloss, Chair, National Sorghum Producers;
• Lynn Chrisp, First Vice President, National Corn Growers Association;
• Jim Miller, Chairman, U.S. Soybean Export Council;
• Terry O’Neel, President, National Pork Board; and
• Craig Uden, Past President, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
The “Celebrate Nebraska Agriculture” reception starts at 6 p.m.
“Having Bill Moos speak at the reception is a great addition to the conference,” said Wellman. “People may not know that Bill was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Washington State. Even though he has a long career as an athletic director, he was able to step away from sports for a couple of years to run a cattle ranch.”
The conference resumes on Thursday, March 8, at 9 a.m. with a panel presentation on international trade and the benefits gained from companies participating in Nebraska trade missions. Panelists include:
• Jerry Wiggs, Greater Omaha Packing Company, Inc.;
• Chris Roth, Reinke Manufacturing Company, Inc.; and
• Deb Gangwish, Co-Owner, PG Farms, Inc.
At 10 a.m., a panel representing ag companies that have built businesses and created jobs for small Nebraska communities will discuss the importance of ag diversification in rural Nebraska. Panelists include:
• Norm Krug, owner/founder, Preferred Popcorn;
• Troy Becker, co-owner, Unified Pet Products; and
• Max and Theresa McFarland, owners, Mac’s Creek Vineyards
Panelists from the last presentation of the day will discuss the growth of the food processing industry in Nebraska. The panel will include speakers from Costco, Hendrix and Kelley Bean.
The conference ends with lunch and keynote speaker Greg Ibach, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs of the United States Department of Agriculture. Ibach, former director of the NDA, will update conference participants on agricultural activities at the federal level.
The Governor's Ag Conference is coordinated by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and is co-sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America. It will be held at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Kearney. Registration and additional information is available online at nda.nebraska.gov or by calling 800-831-0550.
Nota Bene: Members of the media are invited to attend the conference, but will need to register with Christin Kamm at firstname.lastname@example.org.