The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization with members in all 93 counties. As part of the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Statewide Sponsorship of The Combine, we had the opportunity to interview and spotlight a Nebraska Farm Bureau Member.
Mark McHargue, the acting president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, graciously agreed to an interview to speak on his experience and outlook for his year serving the Nebraska Farm Bureau.
Mark was raised and still is a resident of Central City, Nebraska. He operates his fourth-generation farming and livestock operation with his brother and son. The McHargue Family operated a dairy farm prior to Mark's generation. When Mark became interested in the hog industry, his dad and he built a hog shed while Mark was in high school. The McHargues build their own hog barns and production equipment yet today. The construction experience turned into a business off the farm for the McHargue family. Now, McHargue and his son own a construction company as well as a farm. In addition to the hog operation, the farm includes 100% aggregated row crops, with production in corn, soybeans, and popcorn.
“We've always had a fairly progressive operation where dad wasn't afraid to try something new, and we’re still trying something new today,” stated McHargue.
This innovative and progressive mindset has led Mark McHargue to where he is today – the acting president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. He is enthusiastic about telling the story of agriculture, so the future generation understands, supports, and promotes agricultural production.
"I get to have the best job - I get to be out and talking about agriculture to influencers to ensure that ag is a part of the future of Nebraska. Every person gets to tell a story. I get the opportunity to tell the ag story to people outside of agriculture’s normal reach," says McHargue.
One of McHargue’s goals during his presidency is to communicate that the Farm Bureau has producer’s backs. They understand that farmers are busy growing our food, fiber, and fuel, so his mission is to assure farmers and ranchers that someone is doing the work to promote and defend the agriculture industry on their behalf.
When asked what areas of AgTech excited McHargue the most, he said that it is the ability to monitor agriculture and piece them together. For example, we will be able to measure how much a corn plant expands and contracts in a 24-hour day and decide on how much water it needs based on the stress level. The technology is helping us get a bigger picture and zero in on a specific plant or animal. He also mentioned his eagerness for weed-control technology to roll out for the organic sector of the industry. Overall, McHargue was excited that ag technology can help agriculturalists string together more data for better production practices.
"One of the reasons the Nebraska Farm Bureau is involved in Combine is because we see the future of agriculture being developed, and it is coming out of The Combine."
The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service, and advocacy efforts. More than 57,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.