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Agriculture Interests Reinforce Importance of Trade, Join Gov. Ricketts in Proclaiming Agriculture Trade Awareness Day

GRAND ISLAND, NEB. – Governor Pete Ricketts proclaimed Wednesday, September 12, 2018 as Agriculture Trade Awareness Day in Nebraska. Flanked by leaders of numerous agriculture organizations and agribusinesses, Gov. Ricketts made the announcement during a joint “Trade Matters to Nebraska” news conference at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island.  

“Trade is a central part of our overall strategy to grow Nebraska. From our family farms to Main Street, international partnerships are helping create great opportunities for working Nebraskans every day. Just this year, we have led a trade mission to Mexico and hosted a major trade conference with a Japanese delegation in Omaha, and we will continue to pursue new opportunities around the world,” said Governor Ricketts.

Nebraska was the fifth-largest agricultural exporting state in the country in 2016, exporting more than $6.6 billion of agricultural goods. Nebraska also topped the nation in beef exports, was the third largest exporter of corn, feed and other grains, and processed grain products, and was also the fifth-largest exporter of soybeans and soybean meal, according to the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s “Nebraska Agriculture and International Trade” report issued in March.

Statements from Partnering Agriculture Organizations and Agribusinesses

“Roughly one third of our state’s agriculture cash receipts are directly tied to our ability to export the grains, livestock, and agriculture products produced on our farms and ranches. With so much of the success of our family businesses tied to international markets, it’s critical we work to finalize trade deals and grow new markets across the globe for our state’s farm and ranch families.”
Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president and farmer from Axtell, NE

“As soybean producers begin harvest, trade deals and access to markets is a top priority. More than half of our soybeans are exported with the majority going to China. Trade is vital to Nebraska soybean growers and the livestock users who consume our soybean meal. Access to these markets provides certainty not only to our producers but also our Nebraska communities.”
Robert Johnston, Nebraska Soybean Association president and soybean producer from Clearwater, NE

“Increased agriculture trade has the potential to turn around the economic slump corn farmers are experiencing. With one of every ten planted crop acres going to Canada or Mexico, it’s essential we finalize a NAFTA agreement so we can shift gears and explore additional trade opportunities with other countries. If we don’t continue to work on expanding our markets, our competitors will take our place, which will greatly hurt American farmers.”
Larry Mussack, Nebraska Corn Growers Association chairman and farmer from Decatur, NE

“Job growth in Central Nebraska is very dependent on increased trade. We are fortunate as a company to have built strong relations over the years with our international customers. We have an obligation as a U.S. manufacturer to continue to innovate and improve the quality of life for those we serve.”
Mike Lewis, Chief Agri, president/general manager

“Nebraska is the nation’s largest beef-exporting state, and our global sales continue to significantly increase each year. Currently, USDA estimates that U.S red meat exports are trending 17 percent higher than last year, and Nebraska’s beef producers are responsible for the lion’s share of this increase. This success is a direct result of capitalizing on international demand for the high-quality beef that Nebraska produces.”
Mike Drinnin, Nebraska Cattlemen president-elect from Columbus, NE

“The export market is vital to sorghum growers. More than half of the sorghum produced in the U.S. is exported to customers around the world. We continue to work with our national groups to find resolve to the current trade issues.”
Mike Baker, Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board chairman and farmer from Trenton, NE

“Pork trade and export markets add over $50 of value per animal on our farms. This is money that helps our rural economies remain strong and vibrant.”
Al Juhnke, Nebraska Pork Producers Association executive director

“With Nebraska exporting half its wheat annually, trade is very important to our farmers. We appreciate being able to work with other ag groups to highlight how trade has benefitted Nebraska.”
Mark Spurgin, Nebraska Wheat Growers Association president from Paxton, NE

“The export market is a key focus for the dairy industry, as we continue to look to Mexico as our number one export market, but also look to expand opportunities around the world.”
Bill Thiele, Nebraska State Dairy Association president from Clearwater, NE

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit

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