Ricketts: “Protect family farms and stand with our livestock producers”

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman issued statements following news that radical anti-agriculture groups had called for a moratorium on livestock production in Nebraska.

A group of political action committees have called for a moratorium, or a ban, on large livestock production operations in the state of Nebraska, alleging that current zoning regulations are inadequate to keep such operations under control. Such a moratorium could weaken already struggling family farmers who are working to diversify their portfolios after new tariffs and regional flooding lead to costly losses this year.

“Let’s be clear: The out-of-state environmental lobbying groups rallying opposition against our family farmers in Nebraska are anti-agriculture,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Left unchecked, they would destroy our way of life.  I urge Nebraskans in our local communities to rise up and protect family farms and stand with our livestock producers across our state.”

NDA Director Steve Wellman agreed. “Agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska’s economy, and it is extremely disheartening to learn that there are groups of citizens in our own state that are working to essentially eliminate the livestock industry,” said NDA Director Wellman.

“As the director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, I strongly support all aspects of Nebraska agriculture and the farmers and ranchers that work tirelessly contributing to Nebraska’s economic well-being through livestock production,” Wellman continued, stressing that concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are, “Well thought out operations across Nebraska with plans that work to address environmental impacts, nutrient management and animal health to efficiently deliver a high quality, safe food supply.”