Gov. Dave Heineman called attention Wednesday to Nebraska’s celebration of National Ag Week, March 23-29.
Heineman outlined community visits on Tues., March 25, discussed livestock development, unveiled the second edition of an agricultural magazine and announced the students winning the Department of Agriculture’s poster contest.
“Agriculture is our state’s largest industry,” said Heineman. “Our farmers and ranchers work hard to raise the food, fuel and fiber we all use in our lives.”
This year, Heineman, Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture Greg Ibach, President of Nebraska Farm Bureau Steve Nelson and NU Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Vice Chancellor Ronnie Green will visit Valentine, Lexington and Central City during Ag Week.
The group will make some important livestock-related announcements and discuss issues including rural economic development, communicating agriculture’s story and agriculture career opportunities.
“Agriculture is a huge part of Nebraska’s identity and plays a major role in the overall well-being of our state,” Nelson said. “We are extremely excited to join the Governor and others in celebrating National Agriculture Day.”
Ibach discussed several key focus areas for the Department of Agriculture, including efforts to share information about Nebraska’s agriculture industry with consumers, and highlights in the second edition of the Nebraska Agriculture and You magazine.
Featured in the magazine are family farmers Kyle and Gina Cantrell of Merna.
Ibach noted the Department of Agriculture will circulate the free, yearly magazine in settings where the general public can enjoy it, such as office lobbies of doctors, dentists, and hair salons.
Nebraska FFA chapter members again will help deliver magazines to those places in several of the state’s largest communities.
“FFA students will be fanning out to these types of businesses over the next month,” said Ibach. “We hope businesses will support this educational effort by placing the magazines in their lobbies.”
Magazines also will be direct-mailed to select locations in Lincoln, Omaha and Grand Island and circulated through public libraries, Cooperative Extension, and chambers of commerce.
Hard copies also can be obtained by calling the Department of Agriculture at (800) 422-6692. The magazine is available digitally at www.nda.nebraska.gov.
Additionally, Heineman announced the Department of Agriculture poster contest award winners. Each year elementary students have the opportunity to discuss agriculture while creating a poster to submit to the department.
This year, the department had more than 2,000 entries from students throughout the state. Winners include:
1st & 2nd grades
1st place: Hope McDonald a first grader from Centura Elementary in Cairo.
2nd: Ellie Tramp a second grader from St. Rose of Lima School in Crofton.
3rd: Dustin Kapke a second grader from St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Plymouth.
Governor’s choice is: Lucas Urbanski a first grader from St. James Seton School in Omaha.
3rd & 4th grades
1st place: Faith McDonald a fourth grader from Centura Elementary in Cairo.
2nd: Alexis Mogensen a third grader from Weeping Water School in Weeping Water.
3rd: Abby Gilreath a fourth grader from Rohwler Elementary in Omaha.
Governor’s choice is: Kennady Schmidt, fourth grader from Howells Community Catholic School in Howells.
5th & 6th grades
1st place: Dabatha Sanchez a fifth grader from Knickrehm Elementary in Grand Island.
2nd: Zoey Kreikemeier a sixth grader from Guardian Angels Central Catholic in West Point.
3rd: Jazzlyn Nava a fifth grader from Knickrehm Elementary in Grand Island.
Governor’s Choice: Chloe Hoffschiender a sixth grader from St. Paul’s in Arlington.
“It’s a fun way for students to explore their knowledge of farming and ranching,” said. Heineman. “They are always very creative.”