Nebraska's Third District ranks first for agriculture
2 Jul 2019
Agriculture, Agri-business, News, News Articles
Central City, NEB. — Nebraska’s Third Congressional District tops them all, with the most farms, the most farmers, and the most economic value from agriculture.
Will Royle started farming in Merrick County when he was still in high school, but wasn’t sure he could make a living.
“I wanted to buy a piece of farm ground, looked at it, crunched some numbers, and it just didn't work,” he explained.
The economics of farming are tough, but Nebraska agriculture is diverse, as Royle hatched opportunity with a poultry barn.
“Never had a chicken before,” he laughed, explaining it was new to him.
New USDA data from the Census of Agriculture shows Nebraska’s Third District is number two for both livestock and crops, something Royle’s neighbor, Mark McHargue the state Farm Bureau Vice President marvels at.
“I think we have a nice balance and that puts us as Nebraska really kind of unique, when we're talking about agriculture as a whole,” said McHargue.
The Census of Agriculture ranks Nebraska’s expansive Third District first for farms and farmers, and among the top three for women farmers, cattle sales, and total acres.
Agriculture drives this district more than any other.
McHargue said, “Policy-wise, regulatory-wise, trade-wise, those things all impact Nebraska to a greater degree than most other states.”
From sugar beats and dry beans in the panhandle, to soybeans, hogs, and even poultry, as Royle has learned.
“Just needed a way to add a little income and give myself some diversity and this really fit that mold,” the young farmer said.
Mark McHargue points to strong farm roots for the resilience following historic flooding, saying farmers are connected to the land in a unique way.
“Our cities and towns and churches are strong because of that base belief that we need to steward the land, and whatever the Lord brings weather-wise, adapt to that and pull through,” he said.
In a statement to NTV, Congressman Adrian Smith saids us he’s grateful for the work farm and ranches families do.
“Through their tremendous effort, our district does its part to help feed the world,” he said.
Source: Steve White, NTV