Weekly Column

Aug 28 2023

August in Nebraska

As part of the August state work period, I’ve had the pleasure of working back home in Nebraska and traveling the state. All month, I’ve been hearing from my fellow Nebraskans about what they want to see happening in the U.S. Senate. August is always the best month of the year for me, because my favorite part of being your Senior Senator is getting to hear about Nebraskans’ lives and priorities. I take each of these conversations back to Washington with me and factor them into my legislative work. 

Early this month, I had the pleasure of sharing an update on my work in Washington at the annual Federal Legislative Summit organized by the Nebraska, Lincoln, and Omaha Chambers of Commerce. In Falls City, I visited with a group of local stakeholders. We had an engaging discussion that touched on housing access, technical education, and infrastructure. Each of these events was a great opportunity to discuss how to boost Nebraska’s economy and keep our workforce strong. 

At a community leader roundtable in Nebraska City, I learned more about workforce shortages and how they are affecting our state. In St. Paul, I heard about local economic development efforts and rental needs. We discussed ways to meet these needs, as well as increase access to affordable child care so that parents are able to support their families.

I especially enjoy visiting local Nebraska businesses when I am back home. AKRS Equipment gave me a tour of the company’s Ord store, where we talked more about approaches to workforce challenges. We discussed my efforts in the Senate to pass legislation expanding broadband access from the last mile to the last acre of farmland, which will help producers make use of farming equipment. We also talked about the importance of broadband at Mobius Communications in Hemingford, an internet technology company that provides excellent service to Nebraskans.

In Beatrice, I visited with workers at the Marathon Petroleum Facility to discuss the need for year-round E15. I’m proud of the renewable fuel producers who work every day to fuel our nations. I also toured the Fast Global Solutions facility in Auburn, where workers produce top-of-the-line equipment that keeps our packages moving and our supply chains running. I enjoyed meeting staff from Adams Industries, a leading transportation and logistics company in the Sidney area. They’re doing exciting work in their field. In Hemingford, I visited Dave’s Pharmacy, a small business that provides indispensable medication and health services to local seniors. While I was there, I stopped by Treasured Grounds, a great coffee shop, for a treat!

Across the state, I was glad to visit the health facilities keeping Nebraska going. The Valley County Hospital in Ord boasts an impressive facility, and I enjoyed learning more about the important work its staff does for patients. I also visited with staff at Chadron Hospital, where we discussed the challenges faced by critical access hospitals. The many Nebraskans living in rural areas deserve excellent health care, and these facilities are making great strides. 

I enjoyed visiting the VA Medical Center in Grand Island as well, where I was encouraged by the important work being done for our veterans. We discussed ways to improve care in Nebraska and give back to those who have given so much for our country. In Omaha, it was a pleasure to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Behavioral Health & Wellness Center, developed by the Mental Health Innovation Foundation and Children’s Hospital. I also stopped by Mark’s Pharmacy in Cambridge to speak with owner Mark McCurdy and his wife Sheryl. Pharmacists provide easy access to quality care in rural areas like Cambridge, and it was a pleasure to hear about the work Mark and Sheryl are doing.

As part of my ongoing work on the 2023 Farm Bill, I’ve continued to meet with ag producers across Nebraska. I was glad to participate in a roundtable discussion with producers in the Scottsbluff area, where we heard about priorities like crop insurance, disaster relief, and access to precision ag technologies. 

People all across Nebraska are doing good, important work to give back to our state’s communities — whether that’s fashioning new ag equipment, addressing workforce challenges, or providing health care. Learning more about their work this month was a privilege. As I return to Washington after Labor Day, I’ll keep Nebraskans’ needs in mind and continue to work hard for our state as a member of the Senate.

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