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Speakers added to Governor's Ag Conference lineup

NDA still accepting registrations


Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach Feb. 14 announced several additional speakers have been added to the lineup for the 21st Annual Governor's Ag Conference, scheduled for March 4 and 5 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney.

"We've added a very knowledgeable group of Nebraska professionals to discuss farm operation transitions, as well as branding and promoting Nebraska food products," said Director Ibach. "These professionals will take part in panel discussions that can aid Nebraska farmers and ranchers as they consider future plans for their operations."

Two panels will be available concurrently. One will focus on partnerships used to brand and promote Nebraska products. The panel will consist of Deb Yocum, with Nebraska USDA Rural Development; Janell Ehrke, with GROW Nebraska; Linda Fettig, Director of the Nebraska Rural Development Commission; and Neal Ely from Ely Farms. The panel will discuss programs available to Nebraska producers, as well as how some Nebraska producers have utilized those programs.

The second panel will focus on opportunities for farmers and ranchers who are looking to transition their operations to a beginning farmer or new generation. The panel will consist of Marian Beethe, with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture; Alan Baquet, with the University of Nebraska; and Nebraska farmers and ranchers who have experienced the transition of a farm operation.

Ibach reminded the public that NDA is still accepting registrations to the conference. Those interested in attending can register by calling NDA toll-free at 800-831-0550. The registration deadline is February 23.

Pre-conference activities will begin at 6 p.m. CST, March 4, with the "Celebrate Nebraska Agriculture" reception, featuring foods produced by Nebraska farmers and ranchers. The conference will convene at 9 a.m. CST, March 5.

Speakers that were previously announced by Governor Dave Heineman include Clayton Yeutter, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative; Sara Wyant, President of Agri-Pulse Communications and Editor of Agri-Pulse Newsletter; and Steve Kippered, Senior Vice President at Policy Directions, Inc., and author of Inside D.C., a weekly column on agriculture issues published by Brownfield Network.

Other speakers include Dr. Ernie Goss, a Creighton University economics professor who coordinates a monthly economic survey of rural bankers and business leaders in the Midwest and Dean Groskurth, Deputy Director of the Nebraska office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The conference is open to anyone interested in learning more about the issues facing Nebraska agriculture. A $75 registration fee covers participation at both the conference and evening reception March 4. More information is available at http://www.agr.ne.gov.

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