Published On: Thu, Sep 12th, 2013

Knox Co. may be designated Livestock Friendly

CENTER — Knox County Board members were asked to support a Livestock Friendly Designation during the Aug. 28 Supervisor meeting.

The Nebraska Livestock Friendly County program is a voluntary program that recognizes counties that actively support the livestock industry. The designation would show the local officials view livestock industry as a vital part of the county’s future and that new opportunities will be pursued.

Steve Martin, Ag Promotion Coordinator for the Neb. Dept of Ag and Farm Bureau representatives Shane Greckel and Jay Ferris spoke to board members about the designation.

“We support the Livestock Friendly program,” Greckel said. “We appreciate that you are considering this.”

The Livestock Friendly program is about economic development according to Martin.

“It is a two part program. It encourages current producers to think about growth. One of the fastest ways to do this is to have the county zoning regs supportive of expansion,” Martin said. “We work with the Economic Development Coordinator in an effort to show the county would be a good place to live and it would be a good place to for an Ag business to locate. Nebraska is currently trying to increase dairy generated activity in the state.”

Calls concerning Ag development that are made to the state level can be directed to the county’s that are Livestock Friendly.

A map showing the counties that have a Livestock Friendly Designation can be found on-line.

“We appreciate your work on this,” Martin said. “We want to work with small and large Ag producers – it isn’t just the large producers.”

The Planning Commission is looking at the designation, according to Zoning Administrator Liz Doerr. The structure for some of the setbacks may need to be changed.

“The Planning Commission is looking at a draft. A public hearing will be held and a recommendation will have to be made to the Supervisors,” Doerr said. “I have been working with Steve — we are working with all sides of Ag.”