Nov 14 2022
By U.S. Senator Deb Fischer
**Click here to download audio of this week’s column**
Recently, I traveled around our state and visited with many Nebraskans. As always, it is great to meet people where they are and to talk about what matters most to them.
Communication with your elected representatives is the bedrock of our republic. I am proud to host these discussions and other in-person sit-downs in communities across Nebraska, which help to make sure that constituents can communicate with me directly in the places they live and work.
We kicked things off with a roundtable discussion with mayors in Sarpy County. We talked about ways to grow the economy and create more good-paying jobs in the region.
In Wayne, I had the opportunity to visit with a group of community members. We had an insightful conversation about how Wayne is working to build a stronger future, and we also discussed critical issues like affordable childcare. Speaking with the group, I heard firsthand about the damaging impact of inflation and the benefits of investing in our rural communities.
Later, we held a roundtable at Northeast Community College in Norfolk on the future of precision agriculture. The discussion brought together leaders in manufacturing and agriculture to talk about everything from new precision irrigation technologies to the importance of cybersecurity and broadband access.
Nebraska is leading the way in adopting precision agriculture technologies, but many family farmers and ranchers still face hurdles accessing this type of equipment due to high upfront costs.
Last year, I introduced the Precision Agriculture Loan (PAL) Act to help. My bill would create a program at USDA to provide low-cost loans to producers interested in buying precision ag equipment.
I’ve long said that farmers and ranchers are the best stewards of our environment. New precision ag technology can help producers continue that proud tradition by supporting more efficient management of water, fertilizer, and other resources.
After the roundtable, I had the opportunity to tour Northeast’s new veterinary technology building and their large farm operations/animal handling facility. Both of these cutting-edge buildings were very impressive. It was great to see that so many students are getting valuable, hands-on experience in their field.
Next, I stopped in Hartington and spoke with local officials about infrastructure and the economy. I also appreciated my tour of Hartington and the chance to speak with local business owners about the challenges they are facing.
On Friday, I met with officials from City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce in South Sioux City who told me about the important projects they are working on. I was also able to tour the LiteForm facility and see their innovative work firsthand. I’m proud to have such a great company right here in Nebraska.
Later, I met with representatives from Ho-Chunk to talk about their exciting new development. We discussed their progress on Flatwater Crossing, a master-planned, residential community that will spur economic growth in an area along the Missouri River.
It was humbling to visit Siouxland Freedom Park and view the exact half-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The wall is a solemn reminder of the many who have given their lives in the defense of our freedoms.
Over the course of the week, I visited six more counties and spoke with countless Nebraskans. This builds on the many counties I’ve already been able to visit this year.
Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.
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