November 3, 2011

Strong ag economy brings jobs, opportunity to rural Nebraska

In an article in the Omaha World Herald last Sunday, reporter Henry J. Cordes explored the economic strength of the rural economy today. He talked about the demand for grain and how market fundamentals may have shifted.

Included was a reference to ethanol and distillers grains, the feed ingredient ethanol plants produce, giving livestock producers in the state a nice advantage. 

Cordes visited Central City for the story, pulling together some good information on how everything comes together to benefit rural communities: corn, ethanol, distillers grains and livestock.

He reported that over the course of the recession, Central City actually added jobs every year – overall employment this year is up 2.6 percent – about 50 jobs – from three years ago. (He also pointed out that half of Nebraska's rural counties added jobs over that time.)

From the article:
On main street, one Central City family put up a new Dairy Queen building a year ago and has been so busy they haven't had time to tear down the old one. A new computer repair shop opened up, adding four jobs to town, there's a new bank building, and the Subway sandwich shop has a new building going up. Two small new housing subdivisions have been built in town the last few years, something not often seen in small towns.

Kent Grosshans is the manager of Grosshans Inc., a fifth-generation, family-owned implement dealership in Central City that traces its roots to 1877. But in all those years, the business has seen few times like this.

Grosshans said sales have been about double what they were four years ago, and he's added three new workers in the last year. He'd hire another technician and salesman right now if he could find them.

Click here to read the full story, which takes a much broader look at the rural economy than the few highlights here.

In 2007, the Nebraska Corn Board's Cornstalk newsletter focused on the economic opportunities created by ethanol – from new markets to corn, to jobs to livestock producers taking advantage of distillers grains.

The newsletter centered on one town, Central City, which was an example of how ethanol plants were positively impacting communities all across the state and rural America. It highlighted rural development at its best.

You can download the newsletter here (.pdf).

No comments:

Post a Comment