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Nebraska Tourism Commission
Offical Nebraska Government Website
Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Photo Release: Gov. Ricketts’ Leadership on International Trade is Growing Nebraska

Media Contact:

Eric Maher, 402-471-1974

Luke Robson, 402-471-1967



Gov. Ricketts helping announce Novozymes’ state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility

in Blair in the spring of 2017.  The company’s $36 million investment in the facility increases the

plant’s capacity to meet growing needs within the bioscience industry and global biofuels market.



Gov. Ricketts breaking bins of sake with Kawasaki officials to celebrate the opening

of the company’s first ever Aerospace Division in Lincoln in the spring of 2017.



Gov. Ricketts (right), along with Greater Omaha Packing CEO Henry Davis (left) and former

Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach (center), helps load the first shipment

of beef to China from a Nebraska company since the country reopened their market to U.S. beef.



Gov. Ricketts participated in a Letter of Intent signing ceremony in Tokyo with representatives from

Smithfield and Sagami designed to expand the business relationship between the two parties

resulting in the sourcing of pork products by Sagami from Smithfield’s processing plant in Crete.



Gov. Ricketts with Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman and

Agri-Plastics leadership at their new calf hutch facility in Sidney, Nebraska. 



LINCOLN – During his time in office, Governor Ricketts and his administration have worked to grow Nebraska through international trade missions that grow investment and new markets.   The Governor’s efforts to expand international trade have led to the opening of new markets for Nebraska’s quality commodities and major investments in Nebraska from international businesses.


Some successes following recent trade missions by Governor Ricketts include:


  • Novozymes Expansion:  Governor Ricketts visited Novozymes’ headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark during a 2015 trade mission to meet with senior executives, strengthen Nebraska’s relations with the company, and encourage further investment in the state.  In May of 2017, Novozymes announced a $36 million investment to expand their site in Blair, which produces enzymes for renewable fuels.
  • Kawasaki Investment:  In September of 2015, Governor Ricketts met with Kawasaki leadership in Japan during his first trade mission to Asia.  This meeting helped strengthen the relationship between Kawasaki and the State of Nebraska and played a part in the business’ decision to locate their first ever Aerospace Division in Lincoln in the spring of 2017.  The division focuses on the production of cargo doors for Boeing Corporation 777x aircraft.
  • Beef to China:  The Governor visited Beijing in 2015 to urge the Chinese government to reopen the Chinese market to American beef.  In 2016, he led a trade mission to China to share the story of Nebraska beef with potential customers in anticipation of the market reopening.  The Governor visited with then candidate Donald J. Trump in 2016 about the importance of the Chinese beef market to Nebraska.  Last year, China announced that they were reopening their market to American beef and the Governor helped load the first box of beef from Nebraska destined for China.  Currently, Nebraska accounts for over half of the total U.S. beef that is exported to China.  
  • Pork to Japan:  During his trade mission to Japan in 2017, Governor Ricketts participated in a signing ceremony at Sagami Restaurant in Tokyo on behalf of Nebraska’s pork producers.  During the ceremony, representatives from Smithfield Foods International Group and Sagami Chain Co. Ltd. signed a Letter of Intent resulting in the sourcing of pork products by Sagami from Smithfield’s processing plant in Crete.  Japan is Nebraska’s largest export market for pork products and the Sagami Chain has more than 170 restaurants located across Japan.   
  • Agri-Plastics Facility:  In August of 2017, Governor Ricketts led the first ever trade mission to Canada by a Nebraska governor.  During the trade mission, the Governor met with corporate leaders from Agri-Plastics.  This meeting helped build on the relationship that began in the fall of 2016 when the Nebraska Department of Economic Development recruitment team met with Agri-Plastics representatives while attending the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin.  Last fall, Agri-Plastics announced their plans to invest in Sidney with a $4.5 million calf hutch production facility that would initially create 20 jobs.