Dawson County residents got a chance to learn about the importance of international trade to local farmers recently.
The Lexington Council for Economic Development sponsored an International Trade Town Hall on June 14 at the Lexington Holiday Inn Express convention center. Dozens of Dawson County residents were in attendance.
Panelists with extensive trade experience shared their stories and joined in a question and answer session to spotlight what international trade means to all area residents.
According to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Dawson County ranks seventh among all Nebraska counties for exports to Mexico and Canada. In addition, 45 percent of Nebraska exports are sent to Mexico and Canada.
Statistics from the Nebraska Farm Bureau show exports add several thousand dollars each year to all county household incomes. Local officials note future opportunities for youth to live and work in Dawson County are highly dependent on international trade.
Beef and corn are the two biggest export commodities in the county with pork and soybeans close behind. Export trades add an estimated $300 to the value of each beef animal and $50 to each pork animal produced in the United States.
More than 50 percent of Nebraska’s soybeans, that’s six out of every 12 rows planted, are exported with China, Indonesia and Taiwan the three biggest customers.
Finally, farm equipment manufactured in Dawson and surrounding counties is exported all around the world.