The Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s (NDA) purpose is twofold: to encourage and promote the interest of agriculture through advocacy and education; and to fulfill NDA's regulatory responsibilities as defined by statute.
Steve Wellman has served the citizens of Nebraska as the Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) after being appointed to the position in December 2017 by Governor Pete Ricketts.
As NDA Director, Wellman oversees all programs of the agency including animal disease traceability programs, regulatory programs for plants and animals, food safety and consumer protection programs, and the promotion of Nebraska agriculture and ag products. His efforts include work on agriculture policy issues at local, state and national levels.
Director Wellman brings a wide range of experience, leadership and knowledge to the position having served on various agricultural organizations and advisory committees at the federal, state and local level and having farmed in Nebraska for more than 40 years. He owns and operates a third-generation family farm near Syracuse, Nebraska. His diversified family farm produces soybeans, corn, wheat, alfalfa and cattle.
Wellman strongly supports Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers and works to add value to Nebraska’s agricultural products through domestic promotion and international trade missions.
In 2019 Wellman led NDA’s response to a record flood event including working with stakeholders to assess the damage then coordinating donations and distribution of hay and supplies to producers. During 2020, Wellman led NDA’s response to COVID-19 resulting in financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and food pantries, and guidance for various sectors of ag labor and production.
Wellman has been a leader in the Nebraska Soybean Association (NSA) and the American Soybean Association (ASA). He served on the ASA Board of Directors from 2006-2015 and was elected ASA President in 2012 and Chairman in 2013. He served on the NSA Board of Directors from 1998-2006 and was elected NSA president 2002-2003 and NSA chairman 2004-2005.
Wellman has also served on the USDA/USTR Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Grains, Feeds, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds from 2011-2015, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Agricultural Advisory Committee from 2013-2015 and the CME Group Agricultural Markets Advisory Council from 2013-2015. He has been involved with agriculture advisory committees for Gov. Ricketts and President Donald Trump. He has been active in the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and was President of the Midwest Association of State Directors of Agriculture (MASDA) for 2020-2021.
An alumnus of the University of Nebraska’s College of Technical Agriculture, Wellman received a degree in production agriculture in 1981. He is a member of the American Farm Bureau, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Ag Builders of Nebraska and Outstanding Farmers of America.
Wellman and his wife, Susan, have two adult children.