– Gameness til the End
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2012 12:03 pm
by Danny Gruber C-H staff writer
LEXINGTON – Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman was in Lexington Wednesday, at the height of agriculture week in Nebraska, to meet with area cattlemen at the Holiday Inn Express for the 2012 Cattle Symposium.
The symposium, presented by Overton Veterinary Services, was an all day event featuring a variety of doctors of veterinary medicine addressing issues affecting producers, such as usage and compliance within cattle operation and the benefits of feeding wet distillers grains in beef cows.
Dr. Jared Walahoski, DVM, one of the presenters, told the Clipper-Herald the symposium was a way to help cattlemen stay proactive and ahead of industry issues.
“When they make their decision,” Walahoski said, “we want to make sure they’re educated ones.”
Another of the presenters, John Lawton, DVM, said it was about providing local producers with education that is relevant on both a local and national level.
“We want to either help them make money or save money,” said Walahoski.
One of the keynote speakers for the event wasn’t a doctor at all, but Heineman.
Heinman’s message to the cattlemen wasn’t so much about the mechanics of operating a successful cattle operation as it was about producers looking after their businesses and keeping that business intact for future Nebraskans.
Heinman was referring to the Humane Society of the United States, a group that touts itself as an animal protection agency, but Heineman says they aren’t a group associated with any of the local humane societies, rather one that is looking to destroy the cattle industry.
Their mission, according to Heineman, is politically driven, not Ag-driven.
“These guys are the bad guys,” Heineman stated. “They don’t care about Ag.”
While the HSUS works to micromanage and regulate animal industries into bankruptcy, the very industry they attack is the one that is the more humane. He asked who it was helping the animals during the blizzards, floods and other natural events occasionally experienced by Nebraskans.
“It isn’t the HSUS that is out there in the storms, it’s the producers,” Heineman said. “They want to destroy it for you, your sons, your daughters and grandkids.”
Heineman had a message he wanted to share with the HSUS.
“We’re going to kick your [butt] and send you out of the state.”
He had no argument from those in attendance.
Heinman also took a few moments to praise the producers.
“You’re part of our economic team whether you know it or not,” Heineman said. “Cattle is the number one industry in the state.”
As the world’s population is expected to grow, without the benefit of the land “growing” as well, farmers will be feeding millions more people with the same, and sometimes fewer, resources.
These challenges, Heineman said, will be met through continued research and development within the industry.
“The prospects for Ag are very bright indeed,” Heineman said.
Last year Ag accounted for 17 billion dollars of Nebraska’s economy.
According to state estimates, more than six million cattle or calves are marketed each year and 25 ethanol plants supply the nation with more than two billion gallons of fuel each year, making Nebraska the second largest producer of ethanol in the country.
“We’re moving in the right direction in our state,” Heineman said.