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History made in Nebraska agriculture

History made in Nebraska agriculture

Sherry Vinton will be the state’s first female ag director

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Nebraska will have its first female ag director.

Governor-elect Jim Pillen has appointed Sherry Vinton, a rancher from Whitman, Neb. to lead the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

“As a lifelong Nebraskan and livestock producer, she is a leader in Nebraska agriculture who knows the importance of the industry for the future of our state,” Pillen said in a statement. “Sherry will work to protect farmers and ranchers against anti-agricultural policies & groups, promote free & fair trade, ensure competitive markets, and defend our land.”

Vinton will take over for Steve Wellerman, who served as director under former Gov. Pete Ricketts.

With this appointment, Vinton becomes the first female to lead the state’s ag department.

And with Vinton’s appointment, the number of women leading State agriculture departments has increased to 12.

Other State female ag leaders include:

  • Karen Ross – California
  • Kate Greenberg – Colorado
  • Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser – Hawaii
  • Celia Gould – Idaho
  • Amanda Beal – Maine
  • Chris Chinn – Missouri
  • Christy Clark – Montana
  • Jennifer Ott – Nevada
  • Dorothy Pelanda – Ohio (she’s retiring on Dec. 31, 2022)
  • Blayne Arthur – Oklahoma
  • Alexis Taylor – Oregon (she’s currently in the running for a position at USDA)

Multiple agriculture groups in Nebraska welcomed Vinton to her new role.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau, where Vinton served as first vice president prior to her appointment, knows “Sherry will work hard to represent farm and ranch interests in the Pillen administration as we work together to grow agriculture in our great state,” Mark McHargue, president of the organization, said in a statement.

And the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board commended the governor for appointing “such an exceptional #leader for this role,” the organization said on Twitter. “We look forward to supporting Director Vinton in her service.”

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