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Becky Kuntzelman | Johnson Publications

Dwight Barnes can be seen on Broadway in front of the county court house most Sunday mornings. He sells his farm fresh eggs along with eggs from three other contributors.

Nebraska celebrates National Agriculture Week

National Agriculture Week is March 22-28 with National Ag Day celebrated Tuesday.

Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and others recognize the contributions of agriculture by educating people about where food, fiber and fuel come from.

As Nebraskans, there is much to celebrate and be proud of.

Agriculture is Nebraska’s number one industry, and ag week is a good time to have a conversation about agriculture and recognize and thank the people behind the food, feed and fuel we depend on every day, said Steve Wellman, director of Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Farmers feed world–more than just a saying

A farmer today grows twice as much food as his parents did using less land, energy, water and fewer emissions.

Today, the average farmer feeds 155 people as compared to 26 people in 1960.

In an article by Wellman, he said, “Nebraska is first in the nation in beef and veal exports (2018), first in Great Northern bean production (2018) and first in popcorn production (2017).”

Further statistics show that Nebraska is second in the nation for: all cattle and calves (Jan. 1, 2020); all cattle on feed (Jan. 1, 2020); commercial red meat production (2019); and ethanol production (Jan. 2019).

U.S. farmers produce about 40% of the world’s corn using only 20% of the total area harvested in the world.

Nebraska also has a reliable supply of corn (third in the nation—2019) and soybeans (fourth in the nation—2019) for livestock feed and renewable fuels. 

All of these rankings and more make Nebraska agriculture worth celebrating, said Wellman.

International trade is particularly encouraging in the state. 

“We’ve started 2020 with good news about trade including the passage of USMCA (U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement) and a phase-one trade deal with China,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said. 

Nebraska’s ag industry adds more than $21 billion a year to the state’s economy (2018), and one in four jobs in Nebraska is ag-related.

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