Trump ag committee

From left: Govs. Pete Ricketts and Terry Branstad; former Gov. Dave Heineman; State Sen. Beau McCoy; and businessman and cattle breeder Charles Herbster. 

LINCOLN — Govs. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska and Terry Branstad of Iowa, as well as former Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, have been named to an agricultural advisory committee formed by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Charles Herbster, a Falls City, Nebraska, business owner and cattle breeder, was named national chairman of the 64-member group.

Heineman, who was honorary chairman of the Trump campaign in Nebraska, serves on the board of directors of Herbster’s business, the Conklin Co.

Also named to the Trump committee was State Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, who is a Conklin employee.

McCoy, the marketing director for Conklin, said that he was selected because of his position as national president of the Council of State Governments, a nonprofit group that serves state policymakers across the country.

Trump, in a press release Tuesday, said the committee “will provide pioneering new ideas to strengthen our nation’s agricultural industry as well as provide support to our rural communities.”

During his campaign, Trump has harshly criticized some trade deals, particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has been supported by ag groups and rural governors, such as Ricketts, because it would boost sales of beef, corn and other farm products.

McCoy said that there are many differing opinions about trade agreements like the TPP but that such deals can be amended so they not only help agriculture but also aren’t so damaging to American manufacturers.

“It’s not just about free trade; it’s about fair trade,” he said.

Contact the writer: 402-473-9584, paul.hammel@owh.com

Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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