Nebraska has long been recognized as a dependable supplier of quality agricultural products. Known for its enormous capacity to produce grain, livestock, meats, food products, and alternative agricultural products. Nebraska grown and processed products play a major role in the nation's, as well as the world's food and fiber system. Due to the substantial economic benefit of the agricultural industry to the citizens of the state, efforts to maintain and expand markets are critical.
The Ag Promotion and Development (AP&D) division of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture works closely with farm and commodity organizations, public and private research institutions, and other State agencies to open new markets for Nebraska farm commodities and value-added agricultural products. This cooperative effort multiplies the marketing impact for Nebraska by increasing consumer awareness of new food and nonfood uses for Nebraska commodities. This effort takes both a domestic and international focus.
To best represent the diversity of agriculture in Nebraska, the division has identified four key areas of involvement: livestock, bulk commodities, value-added foods and meats, and diversified ag.
Livestock: The livestock industry contributes more than $6 billion annually to the state's economy. This expanding industry uses modern production techniques and a surplus of quality grains to sustain its growth. Nebraska livestock breeders depend on top blood lines to continually improve the genetic package available to buyers. When combined with extensive performance records, these programs give Nebraska producers a competitive edge in U.S. livestock production for domestic and international markets.
Bulk Commodities: Nebraska is known to be a dependable supplier of high-quality grains. Fertile and productive soils and extensive irrigation capabilities ensure a stable supply of Nebraska grain for domestic and international buyers. Additional emphasis has been placed on the development of specialty, organic, and identity-preserved crops as Nebraska producers seek niche marketing opportunities to meet market demands.
Value-Added Foods and Meats: With an abundance of raw commodities and a growing list of available resources, Nebraska has been identified as a leading producer of high-quality food products. The value-added food industry is comprised of nearly 400 food companies offering thousands of name-brand items in grocery stores and the food service industry. Access to information, research, and educational opportunities has enabled these Nebraska companies to implement solid domestic and international marketing plans. In addition, the division is also involved in the initiative to encourage agricultural co-ops.
Diversified Agriculture: Nebraska agricultural producers have successfully diversified their operations by finding new and alternative markets - both food and nonfood applications. The move away from traditional crop and livestock enterprises and toward nontraditional opportunities is not a new idea. However, diversification has become increasingly important because of intense international competition and changing consumer patterns.