Steve Wellman named Nebraska Director of Agriculture

Governor Pete Ricketts introduced Steve Wellman as the new Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). Steve operates a fourth-generation family farm near Syracuse, Nebraska, and brings broad experience from leadership roles in both state and local ag associations.

"My administrations vision is to grow Nebraska, and our states number one industry is absolutely critical to realizing this goal," said Governor Ricketts. "As a family farmer and respected leader in Nebraska agriculture, Steve brings broad experience to the position having served in leadership in ag organizations at the state and local level. He will be a voice for Nebraskas farm and ranch families, and will work to expand market access, add value to our quality commodities, and advocate for property tax relief."

Steve, 56, owns and operates a family farm producing soybeans, corn, wheat, alfalfa, and cattle. Steves wife Susan works as a public school teacher. They have two grown children. In addition to the family farm, Steve has experience as a tax consultant, and has served on the advisory board of American National Bank and Community Memorial Hospital Board of Directors.

"As a family farmer, I understand the importance of a successful ag sector to our communities and the entire state," said NDA Director Steve Wellman." I will put my background to work to raise Nebraskas profile both nationally and internationally as well as fight for property tax relief. Working together, we can grow opportunities for Nebraskas next generation of ag producers."

Steve has served on several industry committees, most notably on the Agricultural Advisory Committees for both Governor Ricketts and President Trump. He also brings experience representing Nebraskas soybean farmers with the Nebraska Soybean Association and the American Soybean Association (ASA). He has served as President and Chairman of the ASA. Through these organizations he has worked on both international trade and government policy. Steve helped to lead and participated in several international trade missions as a member of these groups. During these trade missions, he focused on reducing and eliminating trade barriers, advocated for Nebraskas high-quality agricultural products, and built relationships with international partners.

Steve holds an Associate Degree in Production Agriculture from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. He is a member of the American Farm Bureau, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Ag Builders of Nebraska, and Outstanding Farmers of America. He was named as the Nebraska Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer in 1989. He is a member of Luther Memorial Church.

Steves first day as Director will be Tuesday, December 5, 2017. His salary will be $115,000.

This appointment follows Director Greg Ibach, who was named Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture by President Trump.

Leaders from Nebraskas top agriculture and commodity organizations issued statements congratulating Governor Pete Ricketts on his selection of Steve Wellman as the Nebraska Department of Agricultures 27th Director:

"On behalf of the Nebraska Farm Bureau I want to offer our congratulations to Steve Wellman on his appointment as the new Nebraska Director of Agriculture. Steve is a Farm Bureau member from Otoe County and has served agriculture through his involvement in numerous agriculture organizations. We look forward to working with Steve in the coming days and weeks to continue our organizations partnership with the leadership and staff of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture in our collective efforts to serve Nebraskas farm and ranch families," said Steve Nelson, President of Nebraska Farm Bureau.

"Steve's combined experience as a rancher, farmer and groups leader, provides a unique perspective as Department of Agriculture Director. He has been able to speak with public officials and regulators with authority from all these perspectives," said Troy Stowater, President of Nebraska Cattlemen.

"Nebraska Corn congratulates Steve Wellman and looks forward to working with him in the years ahead. Steves proven leadership in agriculture will ensure Nebraskas agriculture will be well represented locally, nationally, and internationally," said Kelly Brunkhorst, Executive Director of the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

"On behalf of Nebraskas pig farmers, we welcome Steve Wellman as the new Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. We look forward to working with Steve to grow Nebraska agriculture and continue the momentum of our pork industry," said Al Juhnke, Executive Director of Nebraska Pork Producers.

"We are proud to congratulate Steve Wellman on his appointment as the Nebraska Director of Agriculture. Steve has represented the soybean industry in numerous leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels. His international trade experience will be a tremendous benefit for developing future markets for our agriculture products," said Dennis Fujan, President of the Nebraska Soybean Association.

"Sorghum growers across the state are proud to offer congratulations and best wishes to Steve Wellman as he assumes the role of Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Steve brings a tremendous amount of experience, understanding and vision to the position. We welcome him as an ex-officio director to the Sorghum Board," said Mike Baker, President of the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board.

Photos and story courtesy Governor Ricketts' office

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