This Op-Ed comes from Former State Senator Tom Carlson on the current legislative session:
Over the past four years I’ve listened to Governor Ricketts talk about the importance of crop and livestock production, which makes up our number one industry in Nebraska, and is responsible for one in every three jobs in the state. I’ve appreciated the Governor’s continued commitment to achieving water sustainability over the next several years, which will place Nebraska in the best position to feed the citizens of Nebraska, as well as a significant percentage of the people of the world. I believe this is a noble mission, second only to the mission of the church. I’m confident that any suggestion to cut the funding for reaching water sustainability would not come from Governor Ricketts. He has stated publicaly his commitment to accomplishing water sustainability and keeping agriculture our most important industry. I believe he also understands the importance of education. That commitment will help keep the University of Nebraska moving forward to provide the necessary leadership, throughout the world, to help agriculture produce more with less water. It is the key to world survival and is a vital ingredient for future economic progress in our state.
Our success in years to come depends on a strong agricultural sector along with a sustainable water plan to assure profitability, which gives all of us a better life, and a future that is financially secure.
If your state senator is concerned about the reality of an adequate food supply for future years, ask him or her to vote against a cut to the Water Sustainability Fund and against a further cut in funding for the University of Nebraska.
We all understand that the revenue shortfall we face today is a result of low commodity prices in agriculture. When crop and livestock producers fail to make profits, the impact of them paying less taxes, is significant, and the Nebraska economy suffers. When producers are profitable, the entire state benefits. We must support agriculture as well as UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Former State Senator Tom Carlson