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Governor's Ag Conference to feature former treasury secretary


Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson Jr. will speak at the 25th annual Governor's Ag Conference, to be held Feb. 12 to 13 in Kearney. Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach said Paulson, who now chairs The Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago, will participate in a dialogue with Gov. Dave Heineman about the future of U.S. economic competitiveness, the role of foreign investment in generating opportunities for Nebraska, and the prospects for enhanced trade and investment with China, in particular.

"We are extremely pleased to have Secretary Paulson join us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary ag conference," said Ibach. "His international insight, particularly related to China, will add a great deal to conference discussion about Nebraska agriculture's future."

The Paulson Institute is a nonpartisan institution that promotes sustainable economic growth and a cleaner environment. Its initial emphasis is the United States and China--the world's two largest economies--including programs that aim to promote cross-investment between the two countries. At the governor's request, Ibach is serving as a member of the U.S.-China Agricultural Investment Experts Group established by The Institute and recently traveled to China to participate with Paulson in an agribusiness investment workshop.

"I have been impressed by Nebraska leaders' efforts to capitalize on economic opportunities internationally and especially in China. As China becomes a consumption engine for foodstuffs, the opportunities for American farmers and processors will only multiply," Paulson said. "I welcome the chance to join the governor and Nebraskans in a dialogue about how to leverage the state's agricultural strength to forge mutually beneficial economic partnerships."

Paulson served as the 74th U.S. treasury secretary under President George W. Bush.

Other speakers at the conference this year will include: Roger Beachy, with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, who will discuss the future of biotechnology and how new research and policy considerations may influence opportunities for Nebraska; Tyson Redpath, with The Russell Group, who will discuss the effects of state animal welfare laws on interstate commerce; Ronnie Green, with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who will discuss a UNL analysis of Nebraska's position within the United States as a food producer now and in the future; Jerry Hagstrom, with the Hagstrom Report, who will provide an analysis of current activity in Washington, D.C., that could affect Nebraska agriculture; and Nebraska Climatologist Al Dutcher, who will provide an overview of current and forecasted weather conditions.

Ibach reminded the public that NDA is still accepting registrations to the Conference, with early deadline set for Jan. 29. Those interested in attending can register by calling NDA toll-free at 800-831-0550 or visiting www.agr.ne.gov.

The conference is open to anyone interested in learning more about the issues facing Nebraska agriculture. A $100 registration fee covers participation at the entire Conference. More information, including the schedule and online registration is available at www.agr.ne.gov.

Date: 1/21/2013

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