Nebraska’s Newest ‘Citizen’ – Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel

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Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel. (Miriam Alster/Flash90

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel is now an “honorary citizen” of the state of Nebraska – a title that is strictly honorary, according to the state – after a successful visit there last week as part of a tour of several Midwestern states. The title was conferred on Ariel after he met with Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, with the two discussing joint projects and cooperation in the field of agriculture.

Ricketts and Ariel also discussed the recent reintroduction of U.S. beef to Israel during their meeting, according to the governor’s office. In 2016, Nebraska exported the first significant shipment of beef from the United States to Israel since 2003, creating 100 new jobs in the state, the office said. In 2017, Nebraska exported a grand total of over $31 million worth of goods to Israel, up from $27.5 million in 2014. Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Assistant Director Mat Habrock traveled with Lt. Governor Mike Foley to Israel in 2016 to celebrate the reopening of the U.S. beef market and welcome beef from Hastings, Nebraska, into Israel.

“Israel is one of Nebraska’s greatest friends, and a growing market for our quality products,” said Governor Ricketts. “This partnership is expanding opportunities for both the people of Nebraska and Israel. Thank you to Minister Ariel for visiting Nebraska to discuss how we can grow our relationship even further.”

“Many of my colleagues have understood the map of the U.S.A. to be centered around major cities like Washington, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and so forth,” said Ariel. “I have understood that the challenges of climate, water and food protection and production are highlighting the importance of America’s heartland, as well as Israel’s opportunity for new and stronger cooperation with America’s leading agriculture states.”

“It was an honor to meet with Israeli Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel today to discuss our shared vision of a strong agriculture sector,” said NDA Assistant Director Mat Habrock. “Israel and Nebraska are both interested in being leaders in agriculture production through the development and implementation of technology, particularly in water use. Additionally, Israel is a great trading partner for Nebraska’s agricultural products.”