Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is on an agricultural trade mission trip to the European Union with stops in Italy, Belgium, and Denmark. The trade mission, being coordinated jointly by the Nebraska Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development, includes a number of representatives from the state’s agriculture industry. One of the delegation’s first stops was at Expo Milano where they visited the “Sustainable Farm Pavilion” sponsored by New Holland Agriculture.
Among the topics being discussed with EU representatives is biotechnology. “One of the things that we are finding that there’s a lot of consensus about using the science to make decisions in the EU,” said Ricketts during a conference call with reporters on Friday from Brussels.
Nebraska Farm Bureau president Steve Nelson who is on the trip with the governor says there is a misconception in Europe that all U.S. farms are owned by big corporations. “So we’ve talked about how 98% of Nebraska farms are family farm, and that message has been well received,” said Nelson.
Both Ricketts and Nelson expressed disappointment with the vote on Trade Promotion Authority in the House on Friday, since many of their discussions in Europe have revolved around expanding trade with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), which is dependent on TPA to complete. “One of the reasons we’re in Europe now is because we know that expanding trade would be good for all Nebraskans, but especially agriculture,” said Ricketts.[wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/government/neb-gov-europe.mp3″ text=”Neb. Gov Pete Ricketts and FB pres Steve Nelson in Europe”]