Agriculture in Nebraska has an annual economic impact of over $14 billion. The Chamber recognizes the importance of agriculture to our community and works to promote agriculture as our number one economic engine, support agricultural producers, and address current issues facing producers and growers.
Nebraska is a leading force in agriculture with an annual economic impact of $14 billion. In fact, Nebraska is the #1 producer of commercial red meat, Great Northern beans and popcorn (2013). Nebraska also has the most irrigated land harvested with 8,558,559 acres. Nebraska produces 1,623,500,000 bushels of corn for grain production; corn exports (2012) were $1,149,600,000 placing our state third in the nation.
It is easy to see that agriculture is big business in Nebraska. The Chamber of Commerce recognizes the importance of agriculture to our community and works to promote agriculture as our number one economic driver, support agricultural producers and address current issues facing producers and growers.
Husker Harvest Days is a leader in the farm show industry and is at the front of a small elite list of internationally recognized farm shows. Recognized as the world’s largest totally irrigated working farm show, its field demonstrations and crop technology exhibits are geared to Nebraska and western Corn Belt agriculture. Visitors have access to more than 600 exhibitors with agriculture’s latest product introductions, and gain hands-on knowledge about the latest products and services.
Assisting with the coordination and logistics associated with Husker Harvest Days, a Penton/Farm Progress business, is the Agricultural Institute of Nebraska. This seven member board comprised of local individuals from agriculture sectors, coordinates volunteers, assists with field demonstrations, and handles logistics at the local level. The Agricultural Institute of Nebraska is affiliated with the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce organizes and directs the vendors and activities in the Show’s Health, Safety and Hospitality Tent, including scheduling vendors and exhibitors.
The activities of the Chamber’s Agricultural Committee focus on educating and promoting the economic impact agriculture has on our community, and supporting area producers.
To this end, the Ag Committee coordinates community events that showcase agriculture and increase awareness of this industry as an economic engine.
Agriculture is the number one economic engine in Nebraska and is responsible for one in three jobs in our state.
Ag Day – Fourth grade area students experience educational, hands-on activities and demonstrations which illustrate the linkages between agricultural products to their daily lives and to the business economy.
Little Feet on the Farm – Over one thousand children participate in the Little Feet on the Farm exhibit at the Hall County Fair. Children and adults alike interact with six farming stations (Grain Bin, Chicken Coop, Apple Orchard, Livestock Barn, Dairy Cow, and Vegetable Garden), travel to the “Tractor Lot” to fuel their pedal tractors with biodiesel, and pedal to the Chamber’s “grocery store” where they help restock the grocery shelves with the products collected on the farm. This activity highlights a “field to fork” concept for children and their parents.
Agriculture Educational Trading Cards – In partnership with the Nebraska State Fair, the Agricultural Committee has developed Agriculture Educational Trading Cards which are distributed at 10 stations throughout the Nebraska State Fair. These cards contain educational facts about specific agricultural subject matters. The Nebraska State Fair won Best in Division and First Place at the International Association of Fair and Expositions (IAFE) Awards Convention for this project.
Ag Appreciation Event at the Hall County Fair – This recognition event brings together over 500 area farmers, ranchers, and 4-H families with representatives from ag related businesses. It is an opportunity to thank the producers for their role in growing the economic vitality of our area.
The Grand Island community is fortunate to be the home of the Nebraska State Fair, Hall County Fair, Husker Harvest Days, national livestock shows and the Nebraska State 4-H Horse Show. The Chamber is very excited to have the opportunity to showcase Grand Island and the state to attendees of these events. For more information on the Chamber’s Agricultural Committee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grand Island Livestock Complex Authority (GILCA)
With the construction of the Nebraska State Fair facilities at Fonner Park, livestock and agricultural shows have emerged as a strong target market for central Nebraska. In the last three years, eight Junior National Cattle Shows held their competitions in Grand Island. From the larger Junior National Hereford Show to the Junior National Charolais Show, events Nebraska could not previously host were held at the livestock buildings at Fonner Park. The shows brought 1,500 participants and their families to central Nebraska. These shows are each typically 5-7 days in length, resulting in an economic impact of over $1 million. To ensure these facilities are marketed in a coordinated, comprehensive fashion, representatives of the Nebraska State Fair, Fonner Park, Chamber of Commerce, and Convention and Visitors Bureau have formed the Grand Island Livestock Complex Authority (GILCA). GILCA representatives collaborate to promote these facilities and communicate the economic impact associated with the national shows.