Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. Its state capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River.
The state is crossed by many historic trails, but it was the California Gold Rush that first brought large numbers here, and it became a state in 1867. Certain landmarks still compete for the notional distinction 'Where the West Begins'.
There are wide variations between winter and summer temperatures, and violent thunderstorms and tornadoes are common. The state is characterized by treeless prairie, ideal for cattle-grazing, and it is a major producer of beef, as well as pork, maize and soybeans. Nebraska is overwhelmingly rural, as the 8th least-densely populated state of the United States.