We’re about half finished with the legislative session, and we’ve accomplished lots but still have a ways to go before we adjourn. I wanted to pass along a quick update from this week in St. Paul.
Cheese and Pickle Day
Earlier this week, I hosted the first “Cheese and Pickle Day” at the Capitol. Delicious pickles and cheese from Carver County companies Gedney Pickles and Bongards Cheese. I wanted to highlight great Carver County companies that are Minnesota household names and let fellow legislators know about the jobs created, and families that depend on these companies.
I also shared a great story that I was able to help get started for Gedney foods. When I was touring their facility, I asked the president of Gedney if I could do anything else to help them with their business other than fight for lower business taxes, and for better roads. He told me they wanted to find some Minnesota farmers who would grow pickle cucumbers for them because all of the Minnesota growers had moved to grow other things, and cucumbers were not being sourced locally.
I was able to work with my colleague Rep. Rod Hamilton and make introductions to entrepreneurial-minded farmers who worked with my friend former Carver County Representative Paul Kohls and AgStar Financial to establish 13 new growers financed by AgStar to grow for Gedney. NO government investment needed, no taxpayer money spent, just simple introductions to private enterprise and now Gedney will be using those cucumbers grown locally for their “State Fair” pickles and they are starting a whole new line of pickles called “Community Garden Pickles”. What a great example of private enterprise working well! Several of our Carver County Commissioners were present for the event as they serve the districts where these businesses are located.
Carver County Commissioners Randy Maluchnik and Jim Ische joined me for Cheese and Pickle Day.
By putting a company like Gedny in contact with potential workers, we grew the workforce and provided new, good-paying jobs in our state. It shows that being a good neighbor can go a long way in helping Minnesota grow.
A highlight from this week at the Capitol was hearing the story of Francis Laqua and Elvin Ewert. Francis and Elvin are WWII veterans who fought alongside each other in the Pacific theater. They joined the Veterans Affairs Committee to share how they were recently reunited at a local rehabilitation center. I spent almost an hour chatting with them in my office, and it was moving to hear their story. They’re truly part of the Greatest Generation, and we owe them a great deal of gratitude for their indelible service to our country. Thank you, Francis and Elvin, and God bless.
St. Paul Visitors
One of my favorite parts of the legislative session is spending time with residents from around our area. This week, I met with representatives from Farm Bureau, FFA, and several groups of business owners. It’s truly an honor to hear your opinions on issues in Minnesota. Remember, I’m here to work for you, and hope you’ll contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.
Have a great weekend,