25th Nebraska Ag Conference to consider long term issues for producers

The 25th annual Nebraska Ag Conference will concentrate on the long-term issues facing the state's ag producers and related businesses. Governor Dave Heineman and Ag Director Greg Ibach announced Monday the conference will be held February 12th and 13th in Kearney.

Heineman said this conference will be a different than other conferences, with speakers looking at more than just the drought and Farm Bill issues that currently make up much of the discussion.

The conference begins at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Dr. Roger Beachy, with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Mo., will kick off the conference with a discussion about the future of biotechnology, and how new research and policy considerations may influence opportunities for Nebraska.

Two speakers have been asked to address the future of livestock production in the state. Tyson Redpath with The Russell Group of Arlington, Va., will discuss the effects of state animal welfare laws on interstate commerce. Redpath worked previously on the staff of House Speaker John Boehner. Dr. Ronnie Green, vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 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, will provide an analysis of current activity in Washington, D.C., that could affect Nebraska agriculture, including the status of the farm bill, results of activity related to the federal budget and overall deficit, and other federal action that may influence the future for farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses.

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