Agriculture is integral to Nebraska’s history. The Homestead Act of 1863 allowed U.S. citizens to earn ownership of lands in the west including Nebraska, provided they improve and farm the land for five years. Four years after the Homestead Act, in 1867, Nebraska earned its statehood with help from these new farmers and ranchers.
This dedication to agriculture never diminished, and to this day one out of four jobs in Nebraska is related to agriculture. This is especially true for Nebraska’s Third District, which has once again been named the number one agricultural district in the nation.
Nebraska’s Third District has more producers and more farms than any other district in America, and is a leader in soybean, corn, and beef production. In fact, the top three cattle producing counties in the nation (Cherry, Custer, and Holt County) all are in the Third District.
Our producers are consistently looking to the future of agriculture. New innovations lead to an increase in efficiency allowing us to feed more people with fewer resources. In 1960, the average farmer fed 26 people. With new technologies, methods, and increased efficiency, this ratio has increased to 166 people. Efficiency techniques developed in Nebraska are now used worldwide.
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No farm or ranch in Nebraska is the same. Every farmer has their own story, and each one does their part to further our great tradition. As part of the August district work period, I will host an Ag Update Tour with sessions in Alliance, York, and Auburn. The Ag Update Tour provides Third District constituents an opportunity to hear from my special guests and myself on the future of agriculture policy. Special guests include officials such as Ambassador Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Director Steve Wellman of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and Director Jim Macy of the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy.
The variety of perspectives from producers across the Third District will provide a crucial insight into how to shape the future of agriculture policy. Those interested in attending can visit my website here for more details: adriansmith.house.gov/2019AgTour
Washington may have a thing or two to learn from the number one ag district in the nation, and I am more than happy to take these ideas to Washington in September. I look forward to meeting with the best farmers and producers this nation has to offer.