FALLS CITY – Governor Pete Ricketts announced Richardson County as the newest county in the state to become designated a Livestock Friendly County (LFC) through a program administered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). The announcement was made as part of a series of activities for Nebraska’s celebration of National Ag Week, March 13-19, 2016.
“By taking this step to be designated a Livestock Friendly County, Richardson County is letting the agribusiness community know that they are open for business,” said Gov. Ricketts. “Richardson County has abundant natural resources and a deep history in agriculture. The responsible growth of livestock operations in this area will support the future of their family farms and local economy.”
The Governor was joined by several agriculture leaders for the designation event, including Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach, State Senator Jerry Johnson, Nebraska Cattlemen President Barb Cooksley and Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson, all of whom were traveling with him across the state for National Ag Week activities. A number of Richardson County dignitaries, including Dave Sickel, chairman of the Richardson County Board of Commissioners, also spoke at the event.
“The responsible growth of livestock operations adds value to area corn and soybean farms through increasing feed grain demand,” said NDA Director Greg Ibach at the designation ceremony. “Richardson County joins a growing list of counties that are promoting livestock production as a key to rural economic development.”
Created in 2003 by the Nebraska Legislature, the LFC program is designed to recognize counties in the state that support the expansion of the livestock industry. In 2014, livestock receipts in the state comprised over half of the $24 billion of Nebraska’s total on-farm receipts. The LFC designation gives counties an extra promotional tool to encourage expansion of current livestock operations and attract new businesses that spur local economies.
With the addition of Richardson County, there are now 36 counties designated as Livestock Friendly through the state program.
Counties wishing to apply for the LFC designation must hold a public hearing and the county board must pass a resolution to apply for the designation. Then a completed application must be submitted to NDA. Local producers or groups can encourage county officials to apply.
Additional information about the Livestock Friendly County program is available on the NDA website at www.nda.nebraska.gov or by calling 800-422-6692.