U.S. Senator Ben Sasse released the following statement after hosting an Agriculture Roundtable with USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and some of Nebraska’s key agriculture leaders. Prior to the Under Secretary’s confirmation, Senator Sasse received a commitment from Mr. McKinney to come to Nebraska. 

“Here’s a fundamental truth: Nobody knows trade better than Nebraska,” said Sasse. “That’s why I keep working to put Nebraskans at the head of the table during these discussions. It’s clear that the anti-trade talk coming out of Washington needs to stop. Those voices would be better served by listening to our state’s producers. Today, farmers, ranchers, and even some FFA students from across the state joined me with this simple message – and it’s a message I hope Washington hears: trade is good.”

Background:

In 2016, Nebraska exported $6.6 billion in commodities to:

  1. CHINA $1.43 billion 
  2. MEXICO $956 million 
  3. JAPAN $887.1 million 
  4. SOUTH KOREA $499.9 million 
  5. CANADA $433.5 million 

Nebraska ranks 5th in total ag products exported by value among the 50 states:

  • 1st in total beef exported 
  • 8th in total pork exported 
  • 3rd in total corn and feed exported 
  • 5th in total soybeans exported 

From 2004 to 2014, Nebraska’s exports have increased 211% to countries with Free Trade Agreements in effect. 

Attendees:

NEFB – Steve Nelson & Mark McHargue

NE Cattlemen – Craig Uden & Buck Wehrbein

NE Pork Producers – Al Junke

NE Sorghum Producers – Don Bloss

NE Soybean Assoc. – Dennis Fujan & Ken Boswell

NE Wheat Growers – Caroline Brauer

NE Corn Growers – Kelly Brunkhorst & Dan Wesely

Bryan High School FFA Students

Jim Pillen - Columbus

Cindi Allen – Ogallala

Rod Gangwish – Shelton

Jeff Wilmes – Fremont

Tom Weitzenkamp – Hooper

Alice Licht – Lincoln

Todd Schroeder – Wisner

Bart Ruth – Rising City