Happy 150th Birthday, Nebraska!

Rising above the North Platte River Valley, Chimney Rock stands as a natural monument to the settlers who built Nebraska. Generations of pioneers journeyed into the unknown to establish the foundation for our way of life.   

On March 1, 1867, Nebraska became the 37th state admitted to the Union. As we celebrate 150 years of statehood, we honor the legacies of all those who took great risks and overcame countless obstacles in pursuit of opportunity.

Our state’s pioneer heritage has always inspired me. I am proud to be a fifth-generation resident of Scotts Bluff County and grateful my family was part of the Homestead Movement, settling in western Nebraska and working as sugar beet laborers to build a bright future for the generations to come.  

The pioneer spirit is still alive and well today, which is one of the many reasons the Good Life is such a great place to live. Nebraskans’ work ethic is second to none. From the producers who have made the Third District the top-producing agriculture district in the country to the small businesses which employ nearly half of Nebraska’s workforce, productivity is a hallmark of our state.

Because of this work ethic, Nebraskans produce far more than we consume. Small and medium-sized businesses comprise 82 percent of Nebraska exporters. This is why trade is so important. With more than 96 percent of the world’s customers living outside our country’s borders, opening more markets to Nebraska products is crucial to growing our economy. I will continue to advocate for reducing trade barriers for Nebraska producers, manufacturers, and consumers.

Economic development is another key to ensuring Nebraska’s future success. Last year, I presented my Excellence in Economic Development awards to eight entrepreneurs across the Third District who are strengthening their communities through innovation and hard work. Like the pioneers before them, their willingness to take risks has created opportunity for others. To support their efforts, we must keep working to get government out of their way.  

Knowing what can happen when people are empowered by opportunity drives my work in Congress. Through my roles on the Ways and Means Committee and the Modern Agriculture Caucus, I am committed to helping secure greater opportunity for Nebraskans.   

In addition to our pioneer spirit, Nebraskans are known for their kindness. I am proud of our state’s reputation as Nebraska Nice and enjoy introducing my colleagues in Washington, D.C., to Nebraska visitors any chance I get. Friendliness also helps drive our state’s third largest revenue source – tourism – through which current and future generations can learn about our rich history.  

From Husker football to world-class research facilities, Runza to Dorothy Lynch, and the Oregon Trail to the Homestead National Monument, there is an endless list of unique reasons for Nebraskans to be proud. I am honored to represent 65,000 square miles of the Cornhusker State in Congress and will continue working every day to uphold our legacy of opportunity.  

Happy 150th birthday, Nebraska! As we celebrate this milestone, it is only fitting to close in true Nebraska fashion – Go Big Red.