Governor Pete Ricketts, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) are set to host the Nebraska Ag and Economic Development Summit on August 4, 2021, at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.

Registration for the event is now open at  Former U.S. Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, will give the keynote address.

“Nebraska has emerged from the pandemic in a strong position due to the resilience of our people and our top industries, including agriculture and manufacturing,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “This year’s summit will convene leaders from across the state to explore ways to build on that momentum and keep Nebraska growing.  We look forward to hosting former Iowa Governor and Ambassador Terry Branstad as this year’s keynote speaker.”

As the state’s premier economic development forum, the Summit this year will add an agricultural focus, with co-sponsor NDA to host a number of industry-related sessions.  Discussion tracks will include building the state’s broadband infrastructure, growing ag-related exports, supporting entrepreneurship, growing the workforce, and much more.

“The Department of Agriculture is thrilled to co-host the Ag and Economic Development Summit,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman.  “We look forward to the opportunity to facilitate new discussions and partnerships.  Agriculture and economic development go hand in hand toward the success of our state and to grow our communities.” 

Ambassador Branstad is scheduled to provide remarks during lunch.  A former Governor of Iowa and Iowa House member, Branstad served as Ambassador to China from 2017-2020 after being appointed by President Donald Trump. 

“We are excited that Ambassador Branstad will be able to join us this year and share his expertise on topics influencing our state’s agricultural industry and economic growth,” said DED Director Anthony L. Goins.  “We hope everyone who shares in our mutual vision to grow the state will join Governor Ricketts and us in Kearney this year to strategize for the way forward.”  

The Summit will officially kick off on the evening of Tuesday, August 3rd, with a reception and banquet hosted by the Nebraska Diplomats.  During that event, numerous Diplomats and Nebraska businesses will be recognized for their contributions to the state’s economic success over the previous year.

“The Banquet is a chance to pay tribute to the community and business leaders who continue to drive progress in our state and make an impact throughout their regions,” said Nebraska Diplomats President Tim O’Brien.  “We hope many of our Summit attendees will also consider RSVP’ing for the Diplomat Banquet.”    

Registration for the Diplomat Banquet and Summit can be accessed at  A full Summit agenda is also available through the website.  For questions, contact Lori Shaal at or 402-471-3780.