On April 18, 2017, Leadership Lincoln County found out what makes Nebraska great. Nebraska’s agriculture is the lifeblood of the state. Many of us have seen the signs that are on the side of the road or the billboard that reads “if you have eaten today thank a farmer and or rancher”. Those signs scattered throughout the state are a symbol of pride for all of us who have any relation and or association with the agriculture of Nebraska.
The program started with some knowledge on the UNL extension office and some of the jobs that are there. Not only is the extension office a resourceful place to gain some of the newest techniques in agriculture but there are also programs for the youth of today. The youth programs not only encompass agriculture but home economics and even a new robotics program.
After a light morning of presentations off to the outdoors, we went. We had a short stop in the entomology lab were numerous techniques in helping the Nebraska farmer control pests are being conducted. The research being conducted on how to control pests was platformed on an ecosystem level. An example would be using a small wasp for caterpillar control on plants to lower the use of chemicals.
Second stop was the bovine feeding and breeding studies area. There was considerable time spent explaining how the cattle have a RFID chip placed on their ears to allow researchers to see the amount of nourishment the cattle absorbs. These tags also give the researchers the ability to track the cattle from start to finish providing information on carcass weight, the number of times feeding amount of feed and the quality of meat at the time of slaughter.
During the day we visited the purple glow that can be seen at night on the south side of town. This purple glow happens to be the greenhouse where not only are weeds grown but testing is done for some of the biggest chemical companies in the world. The University of Nebraska Extension office in North Platte does some groundbreaking studies on droplet size and speed of application for the companies who provide chemicals to the farmers of today. The purple glow is from the lights for the plants to grow. The lights provide a better atmosphere for the plants to photosynthesize.
The day was filled with an abundance of knowledge and was well worth the time. We received a presentation from North Platte Feeders and the work they are doing to grow the future of beef in Nebraska. Frito lay also stopped in to provide some information on their facility in Gothenburg Nebraska. Remember if you eat a Frito lay on the west side of the Mississippi it probably came from within a 60-mile radius of Gothenburg, Nebraska.
One of the final stops was the Fish Hatchery where thousands of fish are raised and shipped all over the country. This group of individuals works tirelessly to provide the outdoorsman of Nebraska the opportunity to fish in this state.
The final stop was the Murphy Tractor Company who provides a great service to the hard working people of the state. Not only is a tractor supply company but many other machines and services are provided within those walls as well.
Overall the experience was knowledgeable and engaging. Not only providing us with a better understanding of the extension office but of the research being conducted not more than a mile from town. Agriculture is big business in this state and we need to continue to educate and provide our youth the understanding of how much agriculture impacts our lives here in Nebraska.