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A special visit from a U.S. Senator

November 15, 2015
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

It is always interesting when U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar comes to town.

And, she stops in quite often. In fact, the senator makes it to Faribault County each and every year for a visit.

But, before you think we might be something special, the truth is that Sen. Klobuchar makes an annual trip to each and every one of Minnesota's 87 counties.

That's quite an undertaking.

I can remember when she stopped in at AgStar one year. Her focus was to listen to agriculture leaders about their concerns. Another time it was at the American Legion Hall in Blue Earth with a discussion on concerns over veterans issues.

Last Thursday she was once again in Blue Earth, this time at the new Kibble Equipment Inc. facility located in the city's new Golden Spike Business Park. She wanted to see the new park first hand, as the Federal EDA has a large financial investment in the project.

She also took the opportunity to meet with local leaders for a discussion on economic development issues and concerns.

There was one big concern that was a main topic; finding enough quality workers in rural Minnesota. Sen. Klobuchar was well aware of this issue, and she and Republican State Representative Bob Gunther showed some local bipartisanship when they agreed the state and federal governments both need to be more concerned with workforce housing issues in rural Minnesota.

"It is hard to get a business to locate here (in the new business park), if they need 50 employees," Faribault County Development Corporation executive director Tim Clawson said. "We already have businesses here looking for workers. So we need to bring more people here."

The discussion centered on working hard to convince young people that they can have a career here. And then having quality, affordable housing for those people.

Klobuchar had some words of praise for Kibble Equipment and the fact that they are sponsoring some young people to be trained with the idea of those young people returning to work at their firm.

Other topics included ethanol, rural technology and tax reform.

Steve Kibble of Kibble Equipment thanked Klobuchar for her work to try and reverse a recent decision by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Obama administration that hurt the ethanol industry.

That's right. Despite being a Democrat, Klobuchar will do what is best for Minnesota first.

"Farmers say that without ethanol, the price of corn could now be just $1.50 a bushel," he said. "And that would be a disaster."

Klobuchar promised to keep agriculture issues at the forefront of her agenda.

Jim Beattie of Bevcomm also thanked the senator for her work for the telecommunications industry and trying to bring broadband across rural Minnesota.

Klobuchar, who once worked as an attorney in the telecommunications industry, has led the drive for bringing technology to rural areas.

While many topics were covered, there was also plenty of discussion about the new Golden Spike Business Park itself.

Local business leaders explained how it was a great example of both private and public monies being used to accomplish a project like this.

"Two years ago I wasn't sure we would actually be able to get this done," Beattie said. "But here we are. I want to thank a lot of the people sitting in this room for making it happen."

He also thanked Sen. Klobuchar, saying the federal EDA grant was the key to the whole project.

The senator from Minnesota had been in Austin the previous evening, had spent the early morning in Albert Lea, and was headed to Waseca after her visit in Blue Earth.

No matter what your political leanings are, you have to admit that Sen. Amy Klobuchar works hard to find out what all Minnesotans both metro and rural are concerned about.

I give her an 'A' for effort and wish our other elected officials would do the same.

 
 

 

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