Ag Summit focused on the future

Coming up next week is the Panhandle Agricultural Summit - sponsored by the Scottsbluff-Gering United Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center. University of Nebraska Interim Dr. Gary Hergert says the event will bring together producers and agri-business representatives to focus on the future of the region.

"A lot of things we look at, we maybe look at crops segment or livestock," Hergert said. "In this we will look at all things in one place, to see if there if there is some solutions or some things we really need to work on".

Day one begins with registration and welcome at 11 a.m. The luncheon keynote speaker will be Dr. Ronnie Green, NU Vice President of Agriculture/IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor. Hergert says the afternoon will focus on emerging trends that affect producers and the region. Speakers include Korby Jensen from Monsanto will discuss crops, Lincoln attorney Lee Orton will feature water and Dr. Tom Field, Director of the UNL Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program will highlight the livestock.

Then on Friday, December 13th, participants will begin the brain-storming process. A specialist from the University of Minnesota will be brought in to do what is called "the world cafe".

"The idea of the second day is to get everybody together and do this group process," Hergert said. "In break down into small groups and come up with some major issues or themes that they feel we need to work on as a community, as an industry and a research institution"

Event organizers are hopeful for a good turn-out for the second day of the summit.

"What happens on the farm,on the ranch, we get many good ideas from those folks," Hergert said. "Hopefully they can bring some of their concerns and issues when they hear what the speakers have to say and provide some guidance to the Agri-Business Committee of the Chamber and also to the University with some ideas from this".

University of Nebraska staff and researchers will be on-hand to listen to the discussion. Hergert says the Panhandle Ag Summit has the potential to shape the region's agricultural research efforts.

Advance registration is due by Thursday, Dec. 5 for the Panhandle Agricultural Summit, scheduled for Dec. 12-13 in Gering.

The fee is $35 per person to cover the costs of meals and speakers. To register, contact the Scottsbluff-Gering United Chamber of Commerce, 308-632-2133.

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