Yeutter Leads List of Notables for Governor's Ag Conference

Yeutter Leads List of Notables for Governor's Ag Conference

February 11, 2009

"Nebraska Agriculture in an Era of Change" will be the theme of the 2009 Governor's Ag Conference March 4-5 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney.

"The past year brought our farmers and ranchers challenges and opportunities they had never experienced before," Gov. Heineman said. "With new leadership in Washington, D.C., and our nation's ongoing economic struggles, I think additional change is inevitable. With this conference, we hope to take stock of the present situation and gain some insight into what may be on the horizon."

Pre-conference activities begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, with the Celebrate Nebraska Agriculture Reception, featuring foods produced by Nebraska farmers and ranchers and entertainment by Nebraska comedienne Juli Burney of Hartington. The conference begins at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Clayton Yeutter, a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative, will be the keynote speaker. He is currently a policy adviser specializing in trade issues for a Washington, D.C., law firm.

Two other policy experts discussing how national policy changes could influence Nebraska farms and ranches are Sara Wyant, president of Agri-Pulse Communications and editor of Agri-Pulse Newsletter, and Steve Kopperud, senior vice president at Policy Directions, Inc., and author of Inside D.C., a weekly column on agriculture issues published by Brownfield Network.

Other speakers will highlight potential change at the state-level that could impact agriculture. They include: Dr. Ernie Goss, Creighton University economics professor, who coordinates a monthly economic survey of rural bankers and business leaders in the Midwest, and Dean Groskurth, deputy director of the Nebraska office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, who will talk about trends seen in the recent Census of Agriculture. Other topics include partnerships used to brand and promote Nebraska products and a session designed to help farmers and ranchers transition to new operators.

The conference is open to the public. The $75 registration fee covers participation at both the conference and the Wednesday night reception. Registration information is available online at http://www.agr.ne.gov, or by calling the Nebraska Department of Agriculture toll-free at (800) 831-0550.