OSCEOLA – Today at the Polk County Fair, Governor Pete Ricketts named Polk County as the newest county in Nebraska to be designated as a Livestock Friendly County (LFC). Polk County is the 47th county in Nebraska to be designated as such. The LFC program is administered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA).
“I’m especially pleased to welcome Polk County as Nebraska’s newest Livestock Friendly County as they mark a major milestone for this important program,” said Governor Ricketts. “With the addition of Polk County, half of Nebraska’s counties are now livestock friendly. Agriculture is Nebraska’s number one industry, so expanding opportunities around value-added agriculture and livestock production are key to growing our state.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Polk County had a total of $326 million in market value of agriculture products for the year 2012. Livestock sales accounted for $159 million, or 49 percent of the total value, with cattle/calves, hogs, and layers being the largest livestock segments in the county. Crop production accounted for $167 million, or 51 percent of the total value. Major crops raised in Polk County include corn and soybeans.
“Polk County is home to 466 farms, so naturally, agriculture and livestock are a major part of the landscape,” said NDA Ag Promotion Coordinator Jordan Schlake. “Anytime you have support for livestock development in a county like Polk, you’re going to support the many businesses that are tied to agriculture, like grain elevators, feedlots, banking and insurance, and the main street businesses, as well.”
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.