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For Immediate Release: February 10, 2014


Pledges to work with Nebraskans to move the rural economy forward with new, innovative ideas

Lincoln, NE – Today, Pete Ricketts announced the formation of his Agriculture Advisory Committee, which will advise his gubernatorial campaign on the challenges facing Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers. Leaders from across the state who have agreed to advise Ricketts on ag policy recently held meetings in Lincoln and Kearney to discuss policy priorities to move rural Nebraska forward.

The advisory committee represents diverse interests across agriculture including representatives from corn, soybean, wheat, beef, pork, dairy, and other associations. Members include Mark Jagels of Davenport, Paul Kenney of Kearney, Steve Wellman of Syracuse, Jon Holzfaster of Paxton, Jaclyn Wilson-Demel of Lakeside, Pete Lapaseotes and Nick Lapaseotes of Bridgeport, Dan Hughes of Venango, Mike Jacobson of North Platte, Mike Henn of Battle Creek, Scott Spilker of Beatrice, John Widdowson of Lodgepole, Alan Tiemann of Seward, John Kuehn of Heartwell, and Greg Olson of Alliance. Complete bio information is included below.

“The future of agriculture in Nebraska depends on strong leadership at the head of state government,” said Mark Jagels. “I look forward to working with Pete throughout his campaign to the lay the policy groundwork for a bold agenda to move agriculture forward in our state.”

Jagels has been a member of the Nebraska Corn Board since 1999. He currently represents District 2, which is composed of Fillmore, Thayer, Clay, Nuckolls, Adams, Webster, and Franklin Counties. In November, he was elected chairman of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

“Pete has assembled an impressive committee of leaders from across Nebraska that represent every major agriculture interest in our state to help build a vision for ag policy,” said Jon Holzfaster.  “His private-sector experience will provide the leadership our state needs to keep Nebraska agriculture competitive nationally and globally.”

Holzfaster is a member of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Board of Directors where he also serves on NCGA’s CornPAC. Holzfaster represents District 8, which includes 29 counties in Western Nebraska, on the Nebraska Corn Board. Her served as chairman of the board from 2007 to 2009.

Upon making this announcement, Pete Ricketts issued the following statement:

It is a distinct honor to receive the advice and support of so many of our state’s leaders in agriculture who have agreed to serve on my Agriculture Advisory Committee. Our state’s economy is rooted in the farms, ranches and small towns from the Missouri River to the Pine Ridge. The strength of our economy depends on the leadership of these men and women, and others just like them in communities across our state. 

As Nebraska’s Governor I promise to be an unwavering advocate for agriculture and the rural economy – from trade to water issues and regulation to taxes. Our future is tied to protecting and growing agriculture, and in particular value-added agriculture. With the advice of this advisory committee, and Nebraskans across our great state, I will seek new, innovative ways to expand and improve our rural economy.

Born in Nebraska City and raised in Omaha, Pete is the son of an entrepreneur and a public school teacher.  Pete and his wife Susanne have been married for 16 years and live in Omaha with their three children, high school freshmen Roscoe and Margot and 7th grader Eleanor.

After graduating from Omaha Westside High School and the University of Chicago, Pete returned to Omaha and worked for Union Pacific before working as a customer services representative in his family’s business, a company that would eventually become known as TD Ameritrade. He went on to hold leadership roles in the company including Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Senior Vice President of Product Development, Senior Vice President of Marketing, President, and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Pete is the founder of Drakon, LLC that supports local entrepreneurs and startup companies.


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