ST. PAUL –Governor Pete Ricketts announced that Howard County has become the newest county in the state to become designated as a Livestock Friendly County (LFC) through a program administered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA).
“I am excited that the residents and officials of Howard County have added themselves to an expanding list of counties that have become part of the movement to Grow Nebraska’s agricultural economy,” said Gov. Ricketts. “By achieving the Livestock Friendly designation, Howard County demonstrates they are open for business and welcome new livestock operations as well as expansion of current operations.”
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.
“This Livestock Friendly County designation signals that Howard County wants to provide opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers as well as those families already established in the industry,” said NDA Director Greg Ibach, “We have to continue to keep our eye on the future if we are to sustain and grow agriculture in Nebraska.”
With the addition of Howard County, there are now 33 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.