Nebraska Ag Groups Seek to Expand Livestock Production in the State

The Doerrs’ hog business is part of a new wave of expansion in Nebraska’s livestock industry. Melissa, 31, and Justin, 36, are among a growing number of Nebraska farmers looking into raising livestock at a time when low crop prices have made it harder to turn a profit through raising corn and soybeans alone.

“‘You have to diversify if you’re going to have a go,’ Justin Doerr said.

“New hog barns going up on eastern Nebraska farmland and projects now underway like retailer Costco’s Fremont-area chicken processing venture may be just the start.”

The World-Herald article noted that, “Expect more pigs, chickens, turkeys, cows and even farm-raised fish in Nebraska in coming years if agriculture boosters are successful in a renewed push to attract livestock growth.

“The state’s major ag supporters, including the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Department of Agriculture and major commodities boards like the Nebraska Corn Board, are teaming up behind the effort, through funding for an organization that isn’t widely known.

“The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, or A-FAN, has been around for more than a decade but reorganized in recent years. The Lincoln-based group, with three full-time employees and one part-time worker, has shifted its focus away from consumer education about agriculture and squarely toward livestock development.”

Ms. Soderlin added that, “Part of the group’s work is training farmers and connecting them with resources to research, finance, permit and launch livestock operations. A ‘producer empowerment’ workshop teaches farmers how to talk to their neighbors and others about their plans, and what to know about topics like zoning, fertilizer, and water well placement before they begin.”

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