Weekly Column

Apr 17 2023

Back Home in Nebraska

Last week, I had the opportunity to travel home to Nebraska and visit with many of you in the state. It’s always a delight to be back home interacting with fellow Nebraskans, and I’m thankful I was able to participate in some great events.

On Tuesday, I visited The Grocery Kart in Broken Bow, a member of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association. It was great to explore the store and hear from its owners about their business and their concerns. Small businesses like The Grocery Kart source a number of their products locally — including Nebraska honey, popcorn, and even salad dressing. I am impressed by the work of the grocery industry in Nebraska and how well it provides for the needs of people across our state, especially in rural communities. We spoke about issues spanning from meat labeling to national security, and I appreciated hearing their questions and thoughts.

Later in the week, I had the privilege of visiting Plattsmouth High School, where I received a tour of the Career Technical Education building from a few exceptional students. This facility offers students phenomenal educational opportunities and is very unique in Nebraska. I love hearing from young Nebraskans eager to think about the issues and create change for the better in our state and our country. Visiting with our young leaders fills me with hope for the future.

While in Plattsmouth, I attended a business and community roundtable with Mayor Paul Lambert. I heard updates from the community’s business and industry leaders about their challenges and opportunities. Plattsmouth is a hub of thriving small businesses and a close-knit community. I was thankful for the opportunity listen to and meet with some of its residents.

Another exciting event I attended was the grand opening of Graepel North America’s expanded campus. Graepel is an innovative manufacturing company that focuses on perforated sheet metal products. Those products boost industries from trucking to agriculture, helping our economy grow. I shared my thanks with Graepel for the good work it does for Nebraska, America, and the world by providing vital jobs and well-made products. I am proud that Omaha continues to host Graepel and its expansion in North America.

I also spoke at the State Capitol in Lincoln on Friday. I previously voted to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which supported the creation of a state-level infrastructure grant distributed by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization Grant will help the two grant recipients, the Metropolitan Utilities District and the Village of Stuart, update their aging gas distribution pipes so they are safe and up to date. At the grant presentation, I talked about my history advocating for modernized infrastructure, from my time in the Nebraska Unicameral to my current role in the U.S. Senate. I look forward to seeing the benefits of these infrastructure investments.

This weekend, I was also honored to speak at a Nebraska Army National Guard sendoff ceremony in Lincoln. The brave young men and women of the 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne) are departing on the unit’s first overseas deployment to the Horn of Africa. I was able to thank them for their dedication and service to our nation, protecting our freedoms and way of life. I am inspired by the fortitude of the soldiers and the commitment and sacrifice of their families as they prepare for this yearlong deployment.

I am grateful to have spent time back home in Nebraska this week as I gear up for more legislative work in Washington. As I write, work, and vote, I always keep my conversations with Nebraskans in mind, and I am proud to serve the great state of Nebraska.

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