Now that I am a junior in college (YIKES), I have noticed how where you are from can bring people together, creating that special bond. If I have seen your town's name on the back of an FFA jacket, we are instantly friends. Why do you ask? Because, more than likely, you are from a smaller town (AKA anything besides Omaha or Lincoln) and you can relate to the "small town problems and ways."
One thing that really stood out to me was that people from Omaha and Lincoln believe that if you are not from Omaha and Lincoln, you are "western Nebraska" and therefore do not exist. I am not throwing any shade to you folks, because I will admit that Omaha and Lincoln have the best shopping, and many other things I will address later.
With all of that being said, I would like to address Omaha and Lincoln to remind them what we are worth and why we are important. Here is my letter to Omaha and Lincoln:
Hello Omaha metro area, yes this includes you Bellevue, Papillion, Elkhorn, and the rest of you suburbs. And hello to you too, Lincoln. On behalf of small town Nebraska, we would like to remind you that we are still here, and thriving J
I will start out by thanking you for several things you are good for:
- -Shopping: g bless your ability to contain stores such as Dicks Sporting Goods, Dillards, Lululemon, Scheels, many other vital stores and the coveted Gretna Outlet Malls.
- -Groceries: Ahhhhh, thank you for supporting multiple Hy-Vee's, and thank you for taking care of the holy grail… TARGET. Without you, special foods and ingredients would be out of our reach to make those Pinterest perfect recipes.
- -Restaurants: Although our small town, family-owned restaurants are top tier, we appreciate you holding on to good ole fast food and other big named restaurants for when we come for a day "in town".
- -Concerts: Thank you for spending the money on Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Century Link Center so that we can experience Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks, Bruno Mars, Dan + Shay, Taylor Swift, and the occasional rap artist.
- -Husker Athletics: Thank you for taking care of our pride and joys, Memorial Stadium and the Bob Devaney Center. If you do anything to them, we will be coming for you.
- -College: The opportunity to go to a BIG Ten Schools and other great colleges and universities to help us further our education is amazing.
So yes, there are a couple of things we are grateful for. Yes, we know you have way more things that are "bigger and better." But please don't forget about us!!! Just because you have Husker Athletics and Target doesn't mean that you are better than us (again, we are very appreciate of those things so please don't get rid of them).
But let me remind you what we are worth to you:
- 1.Some of these small towns are made up of lots of farmers and ranchers. Without them and their hundreds of livestock and acreage you would not have:
- a.Gas (ethanol from corn; roughly 40 percent of U.S. corn is used for ethanol)
- b.Meat (beef, pork, etc.)
- c.Anything to feed the livestock (roughly 36 percent of U.S. corn, plus distillers grains left over from ethanol production, is fed to cattle, pigs and chickens)
- 2.For the economy to work, value (money) must not only be transferred, but value must be created. Much of Nebraska's value is created where the concrete is nowhere to be seen, for example the green pastures and hills, feedlots, and miles of fields that Nebraska consists of.
- 3.Calves are born in Nebraska. They grow on the grass which has harvested energy from the sun and nutrients from its soul. These calves are fed on corn and used to supply meat and by-products nationwide.
- 4.Contrary to popular belief, not all corn is the same. The vast majority of the corn fields you see are not the type you and I eat. Humans eat sweet corn, which makes up a small percentage of corn grown in the United states. Some food grade corn is grown for tortilla chips and such, but most is field corn.
- a.Corn takes energy from the sun and nitrogen from the air to provide an abundant energy source in feed for cattle, ethanol fuel, high-fructose corn syrup or even bio-based plastics.
- 5.It is not just the farmers and ranchers, but those that process the meat, work at the ethanol plants, supply the ag community with supplies that makes Nebraska go around.
- 6.It is farm and ranch communities (Small town Nebraska) which convert Nebraska's natural resources to value which is then spent in our communities and cities such as Omaha and Lincoln.
- 7.Have you ever had a rural woman's food? If it was made at least 50 miles away from Omaha, it is 50 times better (my opinion, I suppose)
As you can see, without us, Omaha and Lincoln would not be the "big, successful, cities" that we know and love. It takes two to tango ;)
Omaha and Lincoln, we love you but will you recognize us as the gold mine we are to big cities in Nebraska, and across the United States?
Although our landscape is predominantly fields, rolling pasture hills and feedlots, it is where the unimaginable becomes imaginable.
Small Town Nebraska
I have been forever grateful to live in small-town Nebraska, where biofuels are grown and started, and resources are converted to products shipped nationwide. Although we may be all considered "Western Nebraska" or "way out in the boonies", may everyone know that we are the driving force for Nebraska's economy.
Lastly, I would like to give a shout out to Amazon for giving us the opportunity to get anything we need and for delivering 20 miles off the nearest highway.