This has been a challenging year for Nebraska farmers and ranchers. Weather and trade issues have impacted operations, causing both financial and emotional stress.

As part of its 150th anniversary, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a display at Husker Harvest Days that addresses this stress.

Ron Seymour, a UNL Cooperative Extension educator, said this year’s exhibits highlight new agriculture innovations that strengthen the state’s agricultural economy.

“It has been a challenging year,” said Seymour, who is an extension educator in Adams County and coordinates the UNL exhibit at Husker Harvest Days. “People all across the state (are stressed), whether it’s weather-related tragedies or economic issues that have been really difficult for people to deal with.”

This year’s display is an excellent example of the mission UNL has been undertaking for 150 years in helping the people of Nebraska.

Seymour said this year’s exhibit has a wide range of decision points, strategies and tools for farmers, livestock producers and farm families that can have a direct impact on their economic well-being.

Inside the university’s Husker Red steel building on the southeast side of the exhibit grounds show attendees can expect to find information on:

- Advantages of incorporating cover crops into farm systems

- Maximizing the efficiency in center pivot irrigation systems

- Keys for calving success

- Risk management strategies essential for farm success

- Weather readiness

- Family farm stress management

- Sustainable and resilient landscapes

Brad Lubben, an agricultural economics professor at UNL, was at the risk management strategies booth at HHD Tuesday.

Lubben said UNL’s mission is still as relevant today as it was 150 years ago in serving the people of Nebraska.

“We are here to provide what information we can to help producers make better decisions,” he said. “Information that will help them maintain their success and viability.”

At the booth, Lubben talks to producers about government farm programs and safety nets, along with land values and cash rents, crop and livestock budgeting and other management decision-making tools.

“We have a lot of challenges,” he said. “Production decisions have been tough. We don’t know exactly what we have out there in the field yet. But even if we have a good crop, we have markets that are struggling because of trade conflicts and export losses.”

Seymour said the theme of the this year’s UNL exhibit at HHD is twofold.

“We are celebrating our 150th year,” he said. “What people will see here are the culmination of all the innovative things that our research and extension people have provided to the people of Nebraska.”

Also, the booths at the exhibit provide producers many ideas developed by the university to help people cope and manage their affairs through difficult times.

Seymour and IANR faculty and staff are available to answer questions on a variety of extension and research-related topics, provide copies of NebGuides, and direct those needing further information to extension experts in their local area.

He said that showgoers can also learn about the latest opportunities for students at the university’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis.

College representatives will be available throughout the show to answer questions from potential students. The 4-H College Readiness Team will use virtual reality to look at energy-related careers for production agriculture. Those interested in the Nebraska Leadership Education Action Development program can also visit with a representative.

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