Weekly Column

Constituents often ask me in person or in their letters what my favorite part of serving as your Senator is. I always give the same answer: returning to Nebraska and hearing directly from you, my fellow Nebraskans.

That is what I did this past week while the Senate was in recess. Despite the weather’s best efforts to keep us home, I was able to visit with individuals and businesses alike across Southeast Nebraska.

We kicked off our travels this week in Syracuse, where I connected with some locals over coffee. I appreciated hearing directly from them about the issues, including economic and agricultural policies that affect them directly.

Next we stopped by Tecumseh, where I had the chance to speak with the local paper, the Tecumseh Chieftain, about this year’s upcoming Farm Bill, the disaster at our southern border, and ongoing threats from China. While I was there, I also had the opportunity to tour the Johnson County Hospital. Hospital staff and I had a meaningful discussion about the importance of rural health care and the 340B Program, which helps maintain health care access for low-income patients.

Whenever we travel the state, I appreciate opportunities to highlight local restaurants and other small businesses. This time, we stopped for lunch at the delicious Keeping Room café in Nebraska City, where I had a great Reuben and a cup of gumbo. Great food, a great atmosphere, and visited with some great folks.

The same day, I visited the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit that educates on the importance of nurturing our environment. Meeting with the organization’s leadership team was a wonderful opportunity to hear about their work. The foundation, founded in our home state, encourages planting trees and learning more about the gifts of nature. The Arbor Day Foundation has grown into one of the world’s largest nonprofit membership organizations for planting trees, and I enjoyed seeing the many natural attractions people of all ages can enjoy at its headquarters.

I was also excited to visit Garner Industries, headquartered in Lincoln. In 1953, Garner Industries was a small tool and die company. Today, it’s a top manufactured parts company run by dedicated, hardworking staff. After a tour of their facilities, I appreciated hearing directly from employees about their work and the issues affecting their everyday lives. The same day, I had the privilege of visiting Haleon, a healthcare product company. I was impressed by the work they do as the world’s producer of Excedrin.

In Gretna, I joined in on two fish fries, one at American Legion Post 216 and one at St. Patrick’s Church. What great events! Fish fries have brought communities together for food and fellowship for decades. Fellow Nebraskans and I, all from different walks of life, spent time talking and getting to know one another over dinner.

Being a Senator is being a listener, and I’m grateful for the time I get every weekend and during recess weeks to hear more about Nebraskans’ needs and priorities. It is an honor serving as your senior Senator.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

Pursuant to Senate Policy, petitions, opinion polls and unsolicited mass electronic communications cannot be initiated by this office for the 60-day period immediately before the date of a primary or general election. Subscribers currently receiving electronic communications from this office who wish to unsubscribe may do so here.