Tag Archives: Governor Pete Ricketts

DAVID CITY – Governor Pete Ricketts and the visiting Consul General of Japan in Chicago, Naoki Ito, toured the Henningsen Foods plant in David City, Nebraska.  The visit occurred on the heels of a newly-announced strategic partnership agreement between Henningsen’s Tokyo-based parent Kewpie Corporation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).

“Henningsen Foods and Kewpie have shared a tremendous relationship with Nebraska for over 50 years,” said Governor Ricketts.  “During my recent trade mission to Japan, I met with the company’s leadership to thank them for their investments in our state and to discuss new opportunities for collaboration.  Those discussions led to today’s announcement.  This new partnership between Kewpie and the University of Nebraska leverages our world-class resources at Nebraska Innovation Campus and strengthens the special relationship between Nebraska and Japan, which support thousands of jobs in our communities.”

“It has been a privilege to tour Henningsen’s facilities in David City, and yet another opportunity to acknowledge the deep friendship and economic ties shared between Nebraska and Japan,” Consul General Ito said.  “Nebraska and Japanese trade and business partnerships continue to grow stronger every year, and they are a source of economic strength for all parties involved.”

A global producer of egg, meat, and poultry products, Henningsen Foods operates three locations across Nebraska.  Governor Ricketts and a delegation of State and university officials met with senior leaders from parent company Kewpie last year, during the Governor’s second trade mission to Japan.  Following that meeting, the Governor’s Office helped connect Kewpie with UNL.  Shortly thereafter, representatives from UNL and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) returned to Tokyo, at which time UNL and Kewpie formalized a recently-announced strategic partnership agreement.  The agreement will see Kewpie conduct North American market research and development efforts out of UNL’s Nebraska Innovation Campus, in Lincoln.

“This is a perfect example of the economic development opportunities created in Nebraska that result from collaboration and partnership between the university, state government and the private sector through global engagement,” said Mike Boehm, UNL Vice Chancellor Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Nebraska and Japan continue to grow important trade and investment relationships.  Today, Japan is the fourth-largest global importer of Nebraska products, and the state’s largest source of foreign direct investment, having invested more than $4.4 billion since 2010.  Today, approximately 35 Japanese-owned companies employ around 9,400 Nebraskans.

Aside from strengthening Nebraska-Japan ties, the UNL-Kewpie agreement will also help to foster enhanced research and academic collaboration between the University of Nebraska and Japan.

This July, Governor Ricketts is slated to host an official delegation from Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, including Prefecture Governor Toshizo Ido, to discuss additional opportunities for growing Nebraska-Japanese trade and investment relationships.

In September, Nebraska will host the 50th annual conference of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association.  More information can be found at http://www.midwest-japan.org/schedule/.

LINCOLN – Thursday, Governor Pete Ricketts welcomed Kentaro Sonoura, Special Adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to the State Capitol.  The meeting comes in advance of the 50th Annual Midwest U.S.–Japan Association Conference, which will be held in Omaha in September.

“Nebraska and Japan have a long tradition of building strong partnerships, which has created a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Our shared values underlie the success of these partnerships—family, hard work, and innovation.  Nebraskans, and people from across the country, are invited to join us in Omaha for the conference in September to discuss how we can continue to grow trade, jobs, and investment.”

“The Japanese Government places high importance on further developing relations with state governments in the U.S., in particular, with the state of Nebraska, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest with Governor Ricketts,” said Special Adviser Sonoura.  “We would like to cooperate for the success of 50th Anniversary conference of Japan-Midwest U.S., and hope that Nebraska will continue to welcome Japanese investment and promote Japanese language education.”

Mr. Sonoura is a member of the Japanese House of Representatives and a former State Minister for Foreign Affairs.  At their meeting, Governor Ricketts and Mr. Sonoura discussed the importance of trade to both countries and the upcoming Midwest U.S.–Japan Association Conference.  More details about the conference and registration can be found by clicking here.

Japan is one of the top five importers of Nebraska products such as beef, pork, and soybeans.  Additionally, Japan is Nebraska’s largest direct international investor with over $4.4 billion in foreign direct investment from Japanese companies since 2010, supporting thousands of jobs.

LINCOLN, Neb. – During an official proclamation ceremony on May 7, 2018, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts proclaimed the month of May as Renewable Fuels Month. Since 2006, the acting Nebraska governor has dedicated one month out of each year to recognize the importance of renewable biofuels to the state.

Currently, over 90% of all fuel in Nebraska, is blended with locally-produced ethanol. There are over 230,000 flex fuel vehicles in the state, which equates to roughly 1 in 7 Nebraska vehicles. In 2017, over 2.1 billion gallons of ethanol and nearly 6.4 million metric tons of distillers grains (livestock feed) were produced through Nebraska’s 25 ethanol plants. Over 1,300 people in rural Nebraska were directly employed by the industry with an average salary of more than $50,000.

“Nebraska’s ethanol industry is really a win for everyone,” said Dave Merrell, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from St. Edward. “By using ethanol, we’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting cancer-causing toxic chemicals from entering into our atmosphere, which makes our air cleaner to breathe. Additionally, we produce a locally-grown feed for our livestock industry.”

With more than 1 billion gallons being produced across the country, soy biodiesel is another important biofuel for Nebraska. Like ethanol, biodiesel is burns cleaner than petroleum diesel, is locally produced and helps our nation’s farmers. Biodiesel adds $0.74 per bushel to the value of soybeans, and the industry supports more than 60,000 U.S. jobs and $2.6 billion in wages.

“As a Nebraska farmer, I feel a great amount of pride in the work we all do to provide our world with a safe and abundant supply of food, fuel and fiber,” said Tony Johanson, chairman of the Nebraska Soybean Board and farmer from Oakland. “We know we need ensure the sustainability of our planet, but how sustainable are we if we’re burning fossil fuels? By producing and using renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, we were able to replace the need for 540 million barrels of imported crude oil and 2.9 million gallons of imported petroleum diesel in 2017. That’s significant.”

The 2018 Lincoln National Guard Marathon/Half Marathon kicked off Renewable Fuels Month on Sunday, May 6, 2018. The event was sponsored by American Ethanol, which used the event as a platform to engage with runners and spectators about the clean-air benefits of using ethanol. Renewable Fuels Month is being coordinated through the Nebraska Corn Board, the Nebraska Ethanol Board and the Nebraska Soybean Board. Several educational events are being held during the month to promote renewable fuels. Four pump promotions will be held throughout the state in May. During these events, ethanol blends and biodiesel will be available at steep discounts. To learn more about these events, click here.

LINCOLN – This week, Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development have been hosting members of a visiting Japanese business delegation.  The delegation’s visit coincides with the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting in Omaha.

“The relationship between Japan and Nebraska is very strong,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Japan is actually the third largest importer of our products here in the State of Nebraska—almost $800 million.  Japan is also the largest direct foreign investor in our state.  I am very pleased to have all of our Japanese visitors, including the very prestigious Keidanren organization, here in Nebraska.”

The delegates — members of Keidanren, a prestigious Japanese economic organization comprised of upper-level, c-suite business leaders — have been touring Nebraska firms and meeting with state officials and business leaders to discuss the important trade, business, and investment relationships that exist today between Nebraska and Japan.

Japan is one of the top five importers of Nebraska products such as beef, pork, and soybeans.  Nebraska has also benefitted from over $4.4 billion in foreign direct investment from Japanese companies since 2010, supporting thousands of jobs.

Top executives from Canon, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nomura Securities,Tokio Marine Insurance, and Toyota comprised the visiting delegation.  Also visiting were Naoki Ito, the Consul General of Japan in Chicago, and Ralph Inforzato, the Director of JETRO Chicago, among other officials.

The leaders of the delegation, Mr. Hayakawa of Toyota and Mr. Murase of Canon Marketing Japan, echoed Governor Ricketts’ comments and emphasized how greatly Japanese companies appreciate the business-friendly environment the State of Nebraska has offered for many years.

“We appreciate the deep understanding and acknowledgement of the benefits brought by free trade and investments by Japanese companies.  We sincerely hope that Japan and America further their cooperation by leading the way in the promotion of a rules-based framework for trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region.  This will raise the standards for the protection of intellectual property as well as create a level playing field for labor market regulations,” the delegation leaders remarked.

Arriving Wednesday, Keidanren spent the evening in Omaha, touring local Japanese artist Mr. Jun Kaneko’s private studio and enjoying Nebraska beef at 801 Chophouse.  On Thursday, the delegates headed to Lincoln, where they toured the Kawasaki plant and met with executives, before meeting with Governor Ricketts at a media event held at the State Capitol Building.  Today, the delegates attended a roundtable discussion on international trade and investment at Creighton University before meeting with officials from Gavilon and Union Pacific.

On Saturday, the delegation will make its way to Omaha’s CenturyLink Center for the Berkshire Hathaway conference.

Nebraska will host the 50th annual conference of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association this September.