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Ricketts Announces Second Consecutive 'Governor's Cup'
Nebraska Ag Connection - 03/13/2018

Governor Pete Ricketts received Site Selection Magazine's "Governor's Cup" for the second consecutive year. The prestigious award recognizes states that have demonstrated the most outstanding economic development achievements over the past year. Nebraska received the Cup for having the most capital investment projects per capita in the nation in 2017.

"On behalf of our state, I wish to express gratitude to Site Selection Magazine for once again recognizing Nebraska as one of the top states in the nation for business and capital investment," said Governor Ricketts. "This is a testament to Nebraska's world-class workforce and welcoming communities. Thank you to our team at the state and the community leaders, chambers, ag associations, and numerous other partners working to grow Nebraska who brought this trophy home again."

Site Selection is known as the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development fields, and its yearly analyses are regarded by experts as an industry scoreboard.

Other top award winners from Nebraska this year included the Omaha-Council Bluffs (NE-IA) and Sioux City (IA-NE-SD) metro areas, which repeated their 2016 designations as the nation's top metropolitan areas for corporate facilities expansion in their respective population groups. Lincoln also climbed in the national rankings in 2017, achieving the fifth most capital investment projects of any metropolitan area in the nation's West-North-Central region, and the ninth most capital investment projects of any metro area having a population between 200,000 to one million.

At the national level, Nebraska's victory this year is attributed to 110 capital investment projects occurring in 2017--surpassing its 2016 winning total by nine. Example projects from the past year include:

- Costco's construction of a $300 million chicken processing facility in Fremont

- Kawasaki's launch of a new aerospace division in Lincoln

- Agri-Plastics' new $4.5 million production facility in Sidney

- Xpanxion's recent facilities developments in Kearney

In 2017, Nebraska was also nationally-recognized for business-friendly rankings, including:

Top 10 labor force participation rate (U.S. Department of Labor)

#4 -- low unemployment rate (U.S. Department of Labor)

#4 -- Best States for Business (Forbes)

#6 -- Best Fiscal Condition (Mercatus Center)

#7 -- Best States (U.S. News & World Report)

"2017 was a year of tremendous achievement for Nebraska," said Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) Director Dave Rippe. "But it only emphasizes the importance of the work that must continue across the state to generate opportunities and foster economic expansion. It will be exciting to see what the people, businesses and communities of Nebraska will accomplish in 2018."

DED Director Dave Rippe said that he looks forward to seeing the state continue to build upon this year's successes in 2018.

Agriculture was key to growing Nebraska in 2017 and experienced several successes:

- Nebraska inaugurated its 43rd county in the Livestock Friendly County Program

- The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) launched its Livestock Siting Matrix, which is being utilized by two counties

- Hendrix-ISA's $18.5 million chick hatchery in Grand Island

"Nebraska agriculture experienced growth in production and investments across the entire state," said NDA Director Steve Wellman. "Our farmers and ranchers continue to lead the U.S. in several production categories while Nebraska's high quality food, feed and fuel serves the needs of our consumers domestically and internationally."

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