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Gov. Pillen Invites Nebraskans to Register for the Ag & Economic Development Summit


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LINCOLN – Governor Jim Pillen, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) encourage Nebraskans to register for the Ag & Economic Development Summit: One Nebraska. This year’s event will take place August 7-9, 2024, at the Younes Conference Center North in Kearney.
 
Registration for the Summit is now open at govsummit.nebraska.gov. Troy Dannen, Athletic Director for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will be the keynote speaker. 
 
“The key to our success is working together as one Nebraska to grow our state,” said Gov. Pillen.  “At this summer’s Summit, we’ll unite around a shared vision to create great opportunities for our kids and grandkids. We have the most sustainable ag supply chain on the planet, and we’re sitting on our pot of gold—the Ogallala Aquifer. The potential is sky high for Nebraska to be a hub for advanced fermentation, biomanufacturing, and production of next-generation biofuels.”
 
The One Nebraska Summit convenes economic developers and industry leaders in agriculture and business to discuss how to best grow Nebraska. This year, breakout sessions will cover talent attraction, the emerging bioeconomy, housing and childcare solutions, stewardship of water resources, manufacturing, and much more.
 
“Nebraska is rapidly shifting from commodities-based to value-added agriculture,” said NDA Director Sherry Vinton. “With our abundance of land and water, and strengths in ag tech and research, we’re leading the way in the nation’s new bioeconomy. At the upcoming Summit, we’ll explore the tremendous opportunities we have to multiply the value of our crops and livestock to grow our state’s top industry.”
 
UNL Athletic Director Troy Dannen is scheduled to provide remarks during lunch. Dannen is a leading voice in collegiate athletics with extensive experience as an athletic director and deep ties to the Midwest and Big Ten. He was announced as Nebraska’s Director of Athletics on March 20, 2024. Prior to coming to Nebraska, Dannen served as Director of Athletics at the University of Washington. Previously, he was AD at Tulane, and before that led athletics at his alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa. Dannen has Midwestern roots, having grown up on a farm just outside Marshalltown, Iowa.
 
“We’re revolutionizing our approach to economic development in Nebraska,” said DED Director K.C. Belitz. “We’re now competing for people, not only jobs. It’s critical that we retain more of our grads and recruit top talent to the state. At the same time, we’re redoubling our efforts to encourage homegrown entrepreneurship by supporting the businesses that give so much to our communities. It’s crucial that Nebraska’s leaders understand where we’re going and how we intend to get there. I encourage you to join us for the 2024 Summit in Kearney.”
 
The 2024 Summit officially kicks off on Wednesday night, August 7, with a reception and banquet hosted by the Nebraska Diplomats. The evening event includes an awards ceremony to honor leaders, businesses, and communities who have made key contributions to the state’s economic success over the previous year.
 
Thursday, August 8, is the primary day of the Summit. It features opening and closing remarks from Gov. Pillen, a keynote from Troy Dannen, and a full slate of breakout sessions—each led by a panel of subject matter experts.
 
On Friday, August 9, leaders will gather for a Bioeconomy Special Session from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The session is intended to spark conversations and build relationships that will accelerate Nebraska’s leadership of the national bioeconomy.  
 
To register for the Diplomats Banquet, Summit, and Bioeconomy Special Session visit govsummit.nebraska.gov. A full Summit agenda is also available through the website. For questions, contact Lori Shaal at lori.shaal@nebraska.gov or 402-890-4624.


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