Here in Nebraska, agriculture and food processing are the top industries. On Wednesday, the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s new president spoke about where these industries area headed in the near future.
On Tuesday, the Nebraska farm bureau elected mark McHargue as president, replacing a now retired Steve Nelson. McHargue has been on the Bureau’s board for over 16 years, nine of which he acted as the vice president.
“The goals and the mission of the farm bureau have not changed, just who is at the helm and who is going to be the spokesman," McHargue said in his first press conference as president.
In his new role, McHargue says he will continue advocating for those in agriculture and fostering connections with state and national representatives.
One person McHargue will need to foster a relationship with is President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack held that position eight years under the Obama administration and was the governor for two terms right across the river in Iowa.
“He does have some good experience," McHargue said of Vilsack. "So when it comes to agriculture, I think it's important that we don’t miss some big steps. So really having someone that has sat in that chair, I think is a positive thing, and I really look forward to working with him.”
And while the Bureau's values may not be changing, the growing issue of climate change will need to be addressed if Nebraska farmers are to move forward.
“What you look at what we do within agriculture, the amount of crops that we grow that are sequestering carbon; we can really be a part of the solution," McHargue said. "But I think the trick is just navigating how we do that."
McHargue says in 2021, the Bureau will also be focusing on marketing, cattle sales and meat processing- an industry which has been greatly affected this year by COVID-19 outbreaks.
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