Earlier this year, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, along with Nebraska Department of Agriculture director Steve Wellman, announced a new branding program to help promote the state's ag products and services. The program, "Nebraska Straight From The Good Life," was announced as the official branding program of NDA.
"What this is designed to do is to help Nebraska companies, those who are headquartered here or have a significant presence here, to help promote what they do — their products, their services — to expand that for example to the export marketplace, or just in general if they want a higher profile, work with the Department of Agriculture," Ricketts said.
The new program, which includes a website and Nebraska Food and Ag Product Export catalog, is intended to help promote Nebraska companies, products and services as the Governor's Office, Department of Agriculture, Department of Economic Development and other Nebraska agencies meet with international customers and trade officials.
Ricketts added that expanding export opportunities for ag products produced and processed in Nebraska is one way to grow the state's economy while boosting the state's ag sector.
"For example, last year we went to Vietnam, and we were able to meet with a number of folks to promote Nebraska products," he said. "That, in turn, inspired a delegation from Vietnam to come to Nebraska last March right before this pandemic hit. In that meeting when they came to Nebraska, they signed a memorandum of understanding to buy about $3 billion of our products for the next two to three years. Right now, Nebraska is the No. 1 beef exporter into Vietnam. Even with this pandemic, our beef exports to Vietnam were up 56% this year, and our pork exports are up 84% this year."
Wellman said the program is open to any ag or food company headquartered or with a significant presence in Nebraska, at no cost to the company. This includes food products, bulk grain commodity products, farm equipment, irrigation equipment or services provided in both the U.S. and abroad.
"We really expect this program to be something that serves those companies, and in turn, serves Nebraska and our farmers and ranchers," Wellman said. "We want it to be useful for the companies, so they can promote themselves. We want it to be useful for potential customers, so they can be educated and informed about what Nebraska has to offer and about what these companies have to offer to service their consumers."
Wellman explained participating companies will each have one page dedicated to them in the new Nebraska Food and Ag Product Export catalog. Companies can provide the information they want to include — including company history, sales contact information, and information about their product offerings. Digital and print versions are available, and participating companies can use the Nebraska Straight From The Good Life logo in their own marketing campaigns.
"Currently, we have over 30 companies that have committed to participating in this branding campaign. We are actively searching for more," Wellman said.
To participate in the Nebraska Straight From The Good Life branding program or to learn more information, visit nda.nebraska.gov/goodlife.