Governor Encourages Youth to Pursue Ag Careers

Though Nebraska Agriculture Week was last week, Governor Dave Heineman says every day is a good day for young Nebraskans to celebrate the state's largest industry.

"When we think about ag today, we need to realize it's more than rural Nebraska," says Heineman.

Heineman spoke to Grand Island Northwest students on Friday during his one-day tour of the state honoring Nebraska Agriculture Week. He says almost any job in Nebraska - from alternative energy to food processing to finances - is tied into ag.

"As I've said many times, agriculture is the number one industry in this state, when agriculture does well, main street Nebraska does well," says Heineman.

The governor wants to encourage students to pursue ag careers, and says it's going to take more than a high school degree to be successful.

Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson says he thinks Nebraska has the right people and right educational resources to make that happen.

"A lot of the things, the research things that are happening at the university to develop our people skills, our agricultural skills to be more efficient with the use of water and resources is just - we're just really fortunate to be in Nebraska," says Nelson.

Northwest's FFA president says many of her classmates think of just farming or ranching when they think of ag, not about jobs that don't take place in the field.

"They don't realize how many job opportunities are out there," says Katie Husman. "I really didn't know how many there was until I went and started touring colleges and started opening my eyes to different jobs, I'm like 'whoa, that's an ag job?' I didn't know."

Greg Ibach, the director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, also told Northwest students that ag jobs aren't going anywhere anytime soon as officials believe that Nebraska's role in feeding the world will become more important as the world population grows.

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