CLEARWATER – Today, Lt. Governor Mike Foley announced that Antelope County has become the newest county in Nebraska to be designated as a Livestock Friendly County (LFC) through a program administered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). Antelope County is the 40th Livestock Friendly County designated in Nebraska. The LFC designation ceremony was held at the Thiele family dairy farm in Clearwater, Nebraska.
“Having a Livestock Friendly designation is a significant opportunity for this northeast county rich with history,” said Lt. Governor Foley. “Antelope County now has another tool to help expand existing livestock operations and bring in new businesses. Their decision to become a Livestock Friendly County will help grow livestock development for years to come.”
Created in 2003 by the Nebraska Legislature, the LFC program is designed to recognize counties in the state that support the expansion of the livestock industry. In 2014, livestock receipts in the state comprised over half of the $24 billion of Nebraska’s total on-farm receipts. The LFC designation gives counties an extra promotional tool to encourage expansion of current livestock operations and attract new businesses that spur local economies.
“Expanding livestock operations in Antelope County has already helped one farm family attract future generations to the family business,” said NDA Assistant Director Mat Habrock. “The Thiele family dairy farm wanted to grow their operation to bring family and jobs to the county. Three generations of Thieles currently work on the farm, and now, with expanded operations and job opportunities, there’s something for everyone on the farm.”
Counties 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. Then a completed application must be submitted to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Local producers or groups can encourage county officials to apply.