Agriculture is integral to Nebraska’s history. The Homestead Act of 1863 allowed U.S. citizens to earn ownership of lands in the west, including Nebraska, provided they improve and farm the land for five years. Four years after the Homestead Act, in 1867, Nebraska earned its statehood with help from these new farmers and ranchers.

This dedication to agriculture never diminished, and to this day one out of four jobs in Nebraska is related to agriculture. This is especially true for Nebraska’s 3rd District, which has once again been named the No. 1 agricultural district in the nation.

Nebraska’s 3rd District has more producers and more farms than any other district in America, and is a leader in soybean, corn and beef production. In fact, the top three cattle-producing counties in the nation — Cherry, Custer and Holt — all are in the 3rd District.

Our producers consistently are looking to the future of agriculture. New innovations led to an increase in efficiency allowing us to feed more people with fewer resources. In 1960, the average farmer fed 26 people. With new technologies, methods and increased efficiency, this ratio has increased to 166 people. Efficiency techniques developed in Nebraska now are used worldwide.

No farm or ranch in Nebraska is the same. Farmers have their own story and do their part to further our great tradition. As part of the August district work period, I will host an Ag Update Tour with sessions in Alliance, York and Auburn. The Ag Update Tour provides 3rd District constituents an opportunity to hear from my special guests and myself on the future of agriculture policy. Special guests include officials such as Ambassador Gregg Doud, chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Director Steve Wellman of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Director Jim Macy of the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy.

The variety of perspectives from producers across the 3rd District will provide a crucial insight into how to shape the future of agriculture policy. Those interested in attending may visit my website for more details: adriansmith.house.gov/2019AgTour.