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Nebraska governor praises agriculture, cattle industries

By Jennifer Carrico

The governor of Nebraska knows the cattle industry and agriculture support his state, and he does his best to support them as well.

Gov. Dave Heineman told attendees to the Nebraska Cattlemen's Convention in Kearney, Neb., that if the Humane Society of the United States wants to come to Nebraska, they will be in for a fight. HSUS has targeted different states across the nation to pass legislation affecting the way livestock producers raise their animals.

"I want them to know that we will not compromise," he said. "No Nebraskan should work with them. They haven't seen a fight like they would see here."

Heineman said the former mayor of Lincoln is a lobbyist for HSUS, which he doesn't understand since agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska. He stressed the importance of continual education with the urban areas in the state.

Economy

"The economy in Nebraska is in good shape because we don't spend money that we don't have," he said.

Nebraska has the third lowest unemployment rate of the 50 states, is the lowest state in the debt-per-capita category and in the top 10 most business-friendly states in the United States.

Heineman said he has continued to work on lowering taxes and the state has moved from 45 to 29 in the amount of taxes paid by its citizens.

Nebraska is the fourth largest state for the agriculture economy in the U.S. and fifth largest in agriculture exports.

Education

Heineman said the key to being a strong state is a good education program.

"Having just a high school education is no longer sufficient. It's now important for citizens to have two to four years of college," he said.

Nebraska has set goals in the education area with hopes of every student having four years of English in high school and three years each of math, social studies and science classes. He wants every high school to have a graduation rate of 90 percent or higher and an increase is also wanted in the college education rate.

"In order for all industries, including agriculture, to become more efficient and successful, education is vital. Education will lead us to continue on our growth in the economy," he concluded.

Jennifer Carrico can be reached by phone at 515-833-2120, or by e-mail at jcarrico@hpj.com.



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