BEAVER CITY – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced Furnas County as the newest county in Nebraska to be designated a Livestock Friendly County (LFC). The Livestock Friendly County program is administered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). With the addition of Furnas County, located in south-central Nebraska, 46 of the state’s 93 counties are now designated as livestock friendly.
“County fairs are a great place to promote agriculture, so I’m especially pleased to be here today to announce Furnas County’s livestock-friendly status,” said Governor Ricketts. “By becoming a Livestock Friendly County, Furnas County is showing that they are open for business and eager to grow opportunities for the next generation of farm and ranch families.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Furnas County had a total of $181 million in market value of agriculture products for the year 2012. Livestock sales accounted for $83 million, or 46 percent of the total value, with cattle/calves and hogs being the largest livestock segments in the county. Crop production accounted for $98 million, or 54 percent of the total value. Major crops raised in Furnas County include corn, soybeans, and wheat.
“Furnas County is home to nearly 390 farms and many businesses that are tied to agriculture, including ethanol, elevators, feedlots, banking, insurance, equipment, and supplies,” said Steve Martin, Ag Promotion Coordinator with the NDA. “Those businesses show how growth and development in the livestock industry can create more economic activity and job opportunities in the county.”
The Livestock Friendly County program was created by the Nebraska Legislature in 2003 to recognize counties that support the livestock industry and new livestock developments. A county 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. Additional information about the Livestock Friendly County program is available on NDA’s website at nda.nebraska.gov or by calling 800-422-6692.