Northwest Iowa — Iowa’s junior Senator was in our area on Wednesday.
Senator Joni Ernst started the day in Sheldon, talking with local employers. Ernst says they discussed the Paycheck Protection Program and other ways that the government can continue supporting businesses and their employees as the economy is reopened. She also promoted her proposal to allow COVID-19 essential workers to keep more of what she calls their “hard-earned dollars.”
Next, the Ernst entourage traveled a few miles southwest to Hospers, where she visited Premium Iowa Pork. She heard from them about how COVID-19 is affecting their production. Ernst claims that she and the other Republican members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry are continuing to fight for relief for producers and to maintain a secure food supply chain.
Next on her agenda was a trip to the Little Rock area, where she met with Ryan Odens. Odens suffered a severe spinal cord injury after a pickup accident in August of 2000. But against the odds, he has been farming in Lyon County for over 20 years with the help of the Easterseals Iowa organization that offers help to people with disabilities — and a self-driving tractor. Ernst thanked Odens for sharing what she called his “story of resilience.”
Next on the Senator’s visit to our area was a trip to Sibley, where she visited the highest point in Iowa — Hawkeye Point. Ernst took a walking tour and climbed the observation deck. She tells us she heard directly from people who have been rehabilitating the site. She says it’s “incredible work.”
Senator Ernst finished up the day in Dickinson County. Emmet County was next on her list.
The Senator’s stops were not open to the public — to comply with social distancing.