2021 YEAR IN REVIEW

2021 was a year of firsts for AFAN. We co-hosted a golf tournament and an in-person Pork Expo. We held lunch-and-learn events to showcase opportunities in confined cattle buildings and for county officials to view modern livestock facilities as well as our usual work of supporting growth in the livestock industry. All of these events, projects, and business growth and development efforts are made possible by the support of our partners. Without your support, we could not be as effective at reaching a diverse set of opportunities to grow the livestock industry and grow rural Nebraska. Thank you!

Steve Martin, AFAN Executive Director
Previous
Next

2021 Nebraska Pork Expo

Our first Nebraska Pork Expo was nothing short of an enormous success! We hosted the 2021 Nebraska Pork Expo in York, Nebraska at the Holthus Convention Center. We had over 200 attendees and sold out our vendor show. Attendees were able to attend breakout sessions on vital topics such as niche and contract production, marketing pork in the private sector, what to know about carbon markets, solar energy, and so much more!  

As we look ahead to 2022, we are hopeful that our next Nebraska Pork Expo will draw in a larger crowd while still offering relevant educational sessions. The Nebraska Pork Producers will host their annual meeting in conjunction with our 2022 event. The upcoming Nebraska Pork Expo is set for July 20th in York, Nebraska at the Holthus Convention Center. For attendee or vendor information please visit becomeafan.org or contact Rylee Stoltz at rylees@a-fan.org.  

Confined Cattle Lunch & Learn

In the past, AFAN, in conjunction with a few AFAN partners, hosted a confined cattle symposium. While we agree that confined cattle continues to be a growing opportunity for Nebraska Producers, we rebranded the event to lunch and learn opportunities throughout Nebraska. Our chosen locations for the 2021 event were West Point, Beatrice, and Seward. Each location had site tours for attendees to visit after our lunch program. Overall, we had around 50 attendees spread out between our 3 location stops.  

We are looking forward to hosting additional lunch and learns in August of 2022! Watch our website and Facebook page for locations to be announced. 

Previous
Next
Previous
Next

AFAN & NSDA Golf Tournament

AFAN partnered with the Nebraska State Dairy Association (NSDA) to host our first ever golf tournament on June 25, 2021, at the Elks Country Club in Columbus, Nebraska. We had 15 teams teeing off at 1:00 and the golfers were offered lunch on the course. Once they were finished with their 18 holes, appetizers were provided at the club house and the golfers were awarded hole prizes. This tournament provided a wonderful opportunity for our partners to network with other industry people along with potential customers. We are looking forward to hosting this golf tournament again on June 23, 2022, at the Indian Trails Golf Course in Beemer, Nebraska. For details on sponsorship and registration, visit our website at becomeafan.org. If you are not a golfer but would still like to sponsor a team, we have several producers who would love to be sponsored to play in the tournament! 

Our efforts to grow the livestock sector in Nebraska did not slowdown in 2021, in fact we were as busy as ever. One of our key strategies this year was to hold “modern livestock facility tours” with elected leaders. These tours were aimed to help them learn all aspects of modern agriculture facilities so they can make educated decisions in future county business. AFAN also prioritized producer engagement in 2021 by holding various tours and one on one consultations to help farmers evaluate their options in livestock diversification. One of our best values for producers is our ability to connect them with great opportunities. Our team continues to work with businesses and integrators who want to work and grow with Nebraskans. Interested in diversifying with livestock? Give us a call, we would be glad to serve you.

Kris Bousquet, Director of Livestock Development
Previous
Next

Modern Livestock Facilities Tour

Separating fact from fiction can be difficult especially when two opposing sides are telling you conflicting stories.  This is the position that many county officials find themselves in when trying to decide to approve a permit for a livestock feeding operation.   

So, how is a county official to decide?  Enter AFAN.  In the spring and fall of this past year AFAN held on-site tours of modern livestock facilities in Polk and Clay Counties.  The groups from area counties were able to see swine, poultry, and dairy operations.  They talked to the producers and were able to ask questions about management and get a good look at the buildings. Due to bio-security protocols, the group wasn’t able to go inside the swine or poultry barns, but they were able to closely inspect the buildings and grounds (and peek through the curtains at the hogs).  The consensus was that there was little odor, few flies, clean facilities, comfortable animals and professional management of the operations. These are definitely not your grandpa’s livestock buildings! 

Lincoln Dairy Crawl

On October 4, 2021, AFAN joined with Midwest Dairy to host a Dairy Crawl in downtown Lincoln. Our 35 attendees made three different stops throughout the evening with the first beginning at 5:30 at Bin 105 for appetizers. We then made our way to HopCat for the main entrée and finally Harbor Coffeehouse for our dessert of gelato and coffee. Participants were able to ask questions and find out more about the challenges dairy farmers are facing today. The event was a great way to connect health influencers with some of Nebraska’s dairy farmers in a fun and relaxed setting. We look forward to offering more events like this one in the future! 

Previous
Next

Dairy Processing Study

Nebraska has a lot of resources that are very attractive to dairy processors and the return from further dairy processing expansion would be a large economic boost. AFAN, the Nebraska State Dairy Association, and the Nebraska Soybean Board partnered with the University of Nebraska to study the potential economic impact of dairy processing expanding in our state. UNL Economist Dr. Elliot Dennis found that a large dairy processing facility would bring over $1.7 Billion of annual economic return to the state, 4,100 jobs, and $200 Million in direct employee compensation. Commodities utilized in processing expansion is also highlighted in the study which boasts 456,488  metric tons of hay, 907,997 tons of corn, and 244,904 tons of soybean meal. The data derived from this study solidifies Nebraska’s longstanding effort of growing the dairy sector. If successful, the state, communities, and families will benefit from the increased opportunity to work and grow within our state. Click here to read the full  Economic Impact Study.

Wow-what a fun 2021! Looking back it has been such an exciting year for our team, our partners, and Nebraska producers. From a new website, new events, and the re-creation of past events it has been so life-giving to be back out in the state with our Producers. And despite the obstacles producers have been through lately our team continues to see new growth and optimism proving resilence. One story, in particular, we assisted with this year was a young man in Northeast Nebraska looking to raise sheep in a confinement setting. At nineteen years of age, this individual realized his passion was in production agriculture, and with the help of a great team, a grandfather who was willing to develop a succession plan, and the okay from the county commissioners he is now working to bring that dream to reality. Check out our events tab on the website for upcoming events that we have planned for 2022!

Rylee Stoltz, Director of Communications