Unicam Confirms Sandhills Rancher As First Female State Ag Director


     The Nebraska Legislature has confirmed Sandhills rancher Sherry Vinton was confirmed Wednesday as the new director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, making her the first woman to head the agency.

     Vinton, a fifth-generation rancher with a family operation in the Whitman area, was appointed by new Gov Jim Pillen last month to replace Steve Wellman, who held the post the past 6 years under then-governor  Pete Ricketts.

     An accounting graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Vinton has been Vice President of the Nebraska Farm Bureau since 2019 and one of its board members for 6 years. 

     She’s also served on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, the Nebraska Environmental Trust board, was treasurer and mentor for the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition, and is a member of the Agriculture Builders of Nebraska.

     At her confirmation hearing before the Agriculture Committee last month, Vinton said she would make international trade of the state’s agriculture products a top priority and “continue to defend, promote and grow Nebraska agriculture.”.