News from Representative Tom Emmer
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Dear Friend,

We had some exciting news recently: our Adjutant General Jon Jensen of the Minnesota National Guard was recognized nationally for his outstanding leadership and was named the Director of the Army National Guard. His assumption to this command is an honor and we are so proud of him.

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Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson administers the oath of office to Lt. Gen. Jon A. Jensen as the 22nd director of the Army National Guard at the Temple Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Va.

I want to congratulate Brigadier General Shawn Manke who will assume the role as the next Adjutant General for the Minnesota National Guard this week. Our Guardsmen and women are lucky to have his leadership and guidance.

The Minnesota National Guard is made up of incredible individuals who serve their fellow Minnesotans both at home and abroad. Whether they are serving on deployment or addressing civil unrest in the Twin Cities, we are extremely grateful for their service.


Celebrating Startup Week

Last week, we celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit with Congressional Startup Day, recognizing entrepreneurs who are taking risks to create business opportunities. Our jobs, economy, and even national security depend on entrepreneurs that take risks, build businesses, and propel this nation’s economy to be the strongest in the world.

Minnesota and the “Tech Cities” as our Twin Cities have been dubbed, are considered the Startup Capital of the North for fostering innovation and entrepreneurial success.

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Rep. Emmer with stakeholders and startups entrepreneurs at a roundtable with gBETA in St. Cloud, MN back in February.

In February, I gathered with a group in St. Cloud to learn about gBETA, a free seven-week accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. They help support the innovative startups already trying to grow in Minnesota. With 16 Fortune 500 companies and numerous startups, we have attracted venture capital totaling almost $500 million. We’re earning our nicknames!

Last week, as part of Congressional Startup Day, I met with CINCH Systems, based in St. Michael, MN. They engineer and manufacture encrypted high security products. This includes detection for intruders, vehicle barriers and controls for doors and gates. Their products ensure safety and security for Americans across the country.

In Congress, I am the Ranking Member of the Fintech Taskforce. This enables me to learn about and help foster new innovations and technologies at our financial institutions. You can read more about my work on the Taskforce here.

I am always impressed by the innovation and advancement I see right here in Minnesota, continuously building and growing the industry in the Midwest and leading nationwide. 


Investing in Transportation in Central Minnesota

I announced some important news last week: the United States Department of Transportation has awarded the state of Minnesota $4,412,890 under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. This funding will replace and rehabilitate older buses and help acquire new ones as well.

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Rep. Emmer touring New Flyer Bus in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Our bus facilities and vehicle fleet throughout Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District are vital for many Central Minnesotans. They rely on buses to get them to work and to other important places in their lives. Mobility for residents of our community is critical, and efficiency is key.

This grant will improve both the St. Cloud and Buffalo area bus fleets. These areas serve as a hub for many commuters, and this funding will be a welcome update for citizens across the Sixth. I’m grateful for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s support of mobility in and around our community and for providing resources for these needed improvements.

The expansion and maintenance of roads and bridges in our district is a top priority.
I recently introduced the National Bridge Replacement and Improvement Act which creates a grant program for bridge improvements, replacements or repairs. In Minnesota alone, an estimated 1.5 million crossings over structurally deficient bridges happen every day. My new legislation will prioritize existing funding to help achieve the U.S. Department of Transportation’s stated goal of eliminating the backlog of bridge projects by 2032. Our nation’s bridges need our attention now, and I am committed to ensuring they get the critical updates they require to meet our highest safety standards.


Recognizing Autumnwood Farm

Recently I visited Autumnwood Farm, which is operated by the Daninger family in Forest Lake. Pat Daninger inherited this farm, and it was originally started by his grandparents who emigrated from Austria in 1902. This family has been working on this land for nearly 120 years in the dairy business.

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Rep. Emmer with the Daninger family at the Autumnwood Farm in Forest Lake, MN.

Sharlene Daninger, Pat’s wife, operates the farm with him. Pat and Sharlene have grown and expanded the farm, including 300 acres where they plant corn for silage, hay, winter wheat and use some for pasture ground. Along with the farm, they also have an on-site creamery where they sell directly to customers and retailers. Sharlene had me try some of their chocolate milk, which was outstanding! They currently sell their milk products in over 40 stores in the Twin Cities in addition to being sold at their creamery.

Dairy is one of the top agricultural products in Minnesota, and I’ve seen firsthand the work our dairy farmers are doing to support the nation. The industry in Minnesota is home to 3,470 dairy farms, which are responsible for nearly 9,500 jobs. Each year Minnesota dairy farmers produce nearly 10 billion pounds of milk!

I shared with the Daninger family legislation that I introduced to provide flexibility to dairy farmers under an existing risk management program. This additional voluntary option for our hard-working farmers will allow the program to more accurately reflect actual production of the operation, resulting in better risk management. Read about the bill here

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Rep. Emmer touring Autumnwood Farm with the Daninger family.

ATTENTION: For agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers facing untold losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program was designed to assist you. It is being distributed by the United States Department of Agriculture, and the application deadline was extended until September 11, 2020. Learn more here


Survey: Should college football resume?

Due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak, certain college football leagues, like the Big Ten, have canceled their seasons. How do you think that college football teams should proceed for the upcoming season?

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Highlighting 100 Years of Service

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Rep. Emmer with Corey Bartlett, current owner of Auto Parts Headquarters. 

Recently, I also visited Automotive Parts Headquarters in St. Cloud, Minnesota. This family owned and run business reached a legacy milestone: 100 years in operation!  I met with Corey Bartlett, who is the third generation in his family to be involved in Automotive Parts Headquarters. They are an aftermarket auto parts distributor who serves Americans with their 125 stores and 36 locations across Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan and Montana. In honor of this milestone anniversary, I took to the House floor to honor their commitment to their customers and the economy.

Click HERE to watch my Floor speech!

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Until next week, if you are in need of assistance or would like to share your thoughts with me, please write me an e-mail here.

To keep up with what we’re doing in Washington, follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more updates!

Sincerely,
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