LINCOLN, NEB. – Governor Pete Ricketts has been designated a “Friend of Agriculture” by NEFB-PAC, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s political action committee. Ricketts, who is seeking re-election to serve a second term as governor, received the designation based on his efforts to support and grow Nebraska agriculture on numerous fronts, according to Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson.

“Growing markets for our agricultural commodities is critical to Nebraska farmers and ranchers. Nearly a third of our state’s agriculture cash receipts come from agriculture exports. Governor Ricketts has proven time and again that he knows how important trade is to Nebraska and he has worked hard to build international relationships and expand market opportunities for the crops and livestock we produce right here in our state,” said Nelson. “Whether it’s leading trade missions or mapping out a strategic plan for growth through the Governor’s Council for International Relations, the governor has made trade a top priority in his administration to the benefit of the state’s farm and ranch families.”

In addition to trade, Nelson pointed to several other areas where Ricketts has acted to support Nebraska agriculture, including:

  • Ricketts’ ongoing support for biofuels, the Renewable Fuel Standard, and Nebraska’s ethanol industry; which is a key component of Nebraska’s highly successful corn, ethanol, and cattle feeding triangle that has created value-added opportunities for Nebraska agriculture.
  • Ricketts’ efforts to push back against overreaching federal regulations, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “Waters of the U.S.” rule, a far-reaching regulation that would have infringed on the property rights and management of private land as well as taken away state’s rights for managing local natural resources.
  • Ricketts’ support and backing for initiatives to expand broadband access in rural Nebraska, including recent legislation to establish a Rural Broadband Task Force targeted to addressing the needs of farmers, ranchers, business owners, and rural Nebraskans who run the risk of falling behind without access to high quality and high-speed internet.
  • Ricketts’ efforts to work with both the agriculture community and state officials to work through rules and regulations related to the transport of livestock.
  • Ricketts’ leadership on water issues, including work with the state attorney general to reach a settlement in the long-standing Republican River Compact lawsuit, which jeopardized Nebraska farmers future access to water for irrigation.
  • Ricketts’ support for growth and development of Nebraska’s livestock industry through support for the state’s “Livestock Friendly County” program, which recognizes counties for their efforts to develop a climate conducive to livestock expansion opportunities.
  • Ricketts’ ongoing efforts to work collaboratively to find solutions to address Nebraska’s property tax burden, including his support for utilization of internet sales tax dollars to provide property tax relief.
  • Ricketts’ overall efforts to reduce and streamline state government as well as his openness to consider Farm Bureau recommendations for appointments to individuals on boards and commissions important to Nebraska agriculture.

“Whether its vetoing a bill that would weaken measures to control prairie dog populations that damage grazing land or leading a delegation to Japan to promote Nebraska beef, Governor Ricketts has worked to support Nebraska agriculture. We thank him for those efforts and are pleased to announce his designation as a ‘Friend of Agriculture’ as he seeks re-election,” said Nelson.

Governor Ricketts shared his appreciation to Nebraska Farm Bureau and its members for the designation.

"I'm honored by the continued support of Nebraska Farm Bureau and the many farm and ranch families it represents," said Governor Ricketts. "Farming and ranching are not just our state's heritage--they're an engine for growing Nebraska. That's why we'll keep fighting to lower property taxes, promote our world-class ag exports, and support our state's number-one industry."

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org