July 19, 2017
Since Pete Ricketts became the 40th governor of Nebraska in 2015, he has touted growing Nebraska and its agriculture industry as a top priority.
Earlier this year, Ricketts announced his bid for re-election in 2018. This summer, Nebraska Farmer caught up with him to discuss his view of agriculture and priorities for the state.
Several milestones happen in Nebraska this year — 150th anniversary of the state, Nebraska Farm Bureau celebrates 100 years, and Husker Harvest Days' 40th anniversary. What role have these organizations played in Nebraska agriculture?
The biggest industry we have in our state — really what is part of our heritage, the heart and soul of what we do — is agriculture. When you have organizations like Farm Bureau or events like Husker Harvest Days that are contributing to agriculture, they're part of that heritage as well. They're part of how we as a state have grown over the last century and a half, and how we're going to continue to grow in the future. Obviously, our economy continues to diversify, but agriculture still forms the foundation of what goes on in our state. One in four jobs in our state is related back to agriculture. If we're going to grow Nebraska, we have to grow agriculture."
What are some of your top priorities moving forward for the state of Nebraska?
We've accomplished a lot in the last two-and-a-half years around making government more effective and more efficient. We've been able to pass tax relief for Nebraskans. We've been able to streamline how we run our state government to be more user-friendly. We've passed great initiatives like the Transportation Innovation Act to invest in our state and help us build infrastructure, our Developing Youth Talent Initiative to encourage private-sector businesses to work with our kids, our Workforce Housing Bill [LB518, signed into law by the governor in April] which will help create workforce housing in our small and rural communities. We want to build on that foundation going forward and continue efforts on to becoming more efficient on taxes, continuing to work on property tax relief in particular, but also income tax relief so we can make ourselves more attractive to families that want to move here and companies that want to expand here.
About the Author(s)
Editor, Wallaces Farmer
Tyler Harris is the editor for Wallaces Farmer. He started at Farm Progress as a field editor, covering Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. Before joining Farm Progress, Tyler got his feet wet covering agriculture and rural issues while attending the University of Iowa, taking any chance he could to get outside the city limits and get on to the farm. This included working for Kalona News, south of Iowa City in the town of Kalona, followed by an internship at Wallaces Farmer in Des Moines after graduation.
Coming from a farm family in southwest Iowa, Tyler is largely interested in how issues impact people at the producer level. True to the reason he started reporting, he loves getting out of town and meeting with producers on the farm, which also gives him a firsthand look at how agriculture and urban interact.
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