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11-Mar-2015

One FAN-tastic ag program

Agriculture is a pillar of Nebraska’s economy. That pillar has been maintained by generations of livestock producers, farmers and ranchers. All have close-knit ties to their communities. With the help of the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN), they hope to strengthen those economies through strategic economic partnerships. AFAN helps farmers and ranchers by supporting rural communities through livestock development, a key contributor to a thriving agricultural economy in Nebraska.


Retaining nearly 50 percent of all agricultural receipts originating from livestock sales, livestock is Nebraska’s largest and broadest agricultural entity. The economic impact that it creates is enormous. Nebraska’s livestock production is a more than $7.5 billion industry. According to the United Soy Bean Board the animal Ag industry in Nebraska employed 77,889 people in 2012. Here, each dollar of livestock sales yields $0.62 in additional final sales for Nebraska businesses outside of the agricultural production complex.


AFAN creates prosperity throughout Nebraska’s counties and communities with the added value from livestock production. By developing Nebraska’s livestock industry and infrastructure, the communities that are impacted will continue to flourish. It can create long-term economic and community development, including job creation and retention, as well as increased vitality, economic stability and tax revenue for rural communities across the state. These instances of job creation will be opportunities to bring the next generation home to the farm or ranch.


Developing and implementing strategic plans to empower livestock producers is what AFAN’s Livestock Development Program is all about. AFAN partnered with the Department of Agriculture’s “Livestock Friendly County” program as a way to encourage the growth or addition of livestock operations in those counties. Besides the sustained benefits for communities and producers, the value of family and tradition plays a large part in AFAN.


AFAN strives to help families and their farms expand in environmentally conscious, community beneficial, and neighborly-driven ways. We strive to help educate both producers and consumers of the importance of livestock production.


So the next time that you drive past a feedlot, pig farm or poultry operation, think about the important role that farm plays in a rural community. When you support a farmer or rancher, you are directly helping to support your local schools, roads and other amenities. Be that strong foundation for the pillar of Nebraska agriculture.


About the Author

Willow Holoubek
Executive Director, AFAN
Willow serves as the Executive Director for the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN). Willow and her family have spent over 20 years working on their grain and livestock farm near David City, Nebraska. They raise purebred Angus cattle, corn, soybeans and dairy-quality alfalfa.

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