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Senator Tina Smith Applauds New Equity Commission on Rural Community Economic Development

WASHINGTON, [8.26.22] – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) applauded the appointment of 12 members to the newly established Equity Commission Subcommittee on Rural Community Economic Development (RCED) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Among the 12 appointees is Minnesotan Cheryal Hills. The Commission was created as part of the American Rescue Plan, which Senator Smith helped pass earlier this year. “Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s diverse economy,” said Sen. Smith. “In the Senate Agriculture Committee, I have pushed to make federal programs that help farmers more accessible for underserved communities. I am glad to see this commission, which was made possible by the American Rescue Plan, appoint qualified members like Cheryal Hills who will work to more effectively address the needs of rural and underserved communities.” The new RCED subcommittee members are: Cheryal Hills, Minnesota; Davis Carrasquillo-Medrano, Puerto Rico; Calvin Allen, North Carolina; Lakota Vogel, South Dakota; Valerie Beel, Nebraska; LaTonya Keaton, Illinois; Doug O’Brien, Maryland/Washington, DC; Curtis Wynn, Florida; Terry Rambler, Arizona; Larry Holland, Mississippi; Nils Christoffersen, Oregon; and Shonterria Charleston, Georgia. The RCED Subcommittee will work with the Equity Commission and its Agriculture Subcommittee to provide recommendations to the Secretary that specifically address issues and concerns related to rural development, persistent poverty and underserved communities. The newly appointed subcommittee members reflect diversity in demographics, regions of the country, background, and in experience and expertise.

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small for Visits to Wadena and Menahga

MINNEOSTA — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small to visit Wadena and Menahga in Central Minnesota. Photo and video footage from the visits can be found here. They started the day in Wadena, where they toured ­Tri-County Health Care’s new $72 million project. Named Astera Health, this will be a new 125,900 square-foot facility designed to integrate new technology, create a healthy environment that improves the patient experience and efficiency for staff, and ensure a sustainable future for health care in the area. Tri-County Health Care received a $42 million direct loan from the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities program. After their visit with Tri-County Health Care, they toured Ten Finns Creamery in Menahga to learn about their specialization in A2 milk production and sustainable farming practices. Owned and operated by Joel and Amanda Hendrickson, their namesake comes from their Finnish ancestry and ten kids who play a big role in the daily care of their cows. Their specialization in A2 milk production produces dairy products for people with milk sensitivities to enjoy. They currently have whole milk, 2% milk, chocolate milk, and butter available as products. They pride themselves on sustainable farming practices, which include refusing to use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides and planting cover crops to keep carbon in the soil and out of our atmosphere. “It was great to have Under Secretary Torres Small here to see a glimpse of what rural Minnesota

Sen. Tina Smith and Colleagues Introduce Bill to Ensure Trump Administration Complies with Buy America Laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/06/18]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced legislation alongside five of her colleagues that requires federal agencies to publicly release reports on their compliance with and options to improve our nation’s Buy America laws. “I believe that taxpayer funds should go to U.S. companies to create American jobs, not overseas to foreign companies. Families across the country deserve to know the truth about how their taxpayer dollars are being used,” Sen. Smith said. “By making sure federal agencies issue public reports on their compliance with Buy America laws, Minnesotans and lawmakers alike will be able to judge for themselves who

Sen. Tina Smith in First Senate Floor Speech: “When Women Are Empowered to Contribute, We All Benefit”

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/05/18]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith delivered her first Senate floor speech. In her remarks, Sen. Smith talked about the path that brought her to the Senate, and some of the injustices that hold women back—many of which start in Washington. You can download video of Sen. Smith’s speech here, and a photo of Sen. Smith, her husband Archie, and her father Harlan here. “My presence here in the Senate will always be seen by some as a symbol of the ‘broader conversation’ we’re having about the experience of women in America,” said Sen. Smith. “And so I thought I’d give my perspective

Sen. Tina Smith Says New Bipartisan Senate Farm Bill Will Be Good for Minnesota Farmers and Communities, Bolster State’s Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/08/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said the bipartisan Farm Bill proposal the Committee will take up next week is important, not only for the Minnesota farmers, ranchers and rural communities, who will greatly benefit from the measure, but also for the state’s economy as a whole. The legislation, which includes measures championed by Sen. Smith—including many aspects of her legislative roadmap for the energy section of the Farm Bill—will help spur economic development, job creation and trade. Sen. Smith said the panel will begin work to finalize the proposal on Wednesday, June 13, when

Sen. Tina Smith Helps Introduce Bill to Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/21/2018]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—a member of the Senate Health Committee—helped introduce legislation in order to better address the increasing number of students with mental health concerns at colleges and universities across the country. The bill—known as the Higher Education Mental Health Commission Act—would create a national commission to study the mental health concerns that students face. This commission would includerepresentatives from higher education institutions, disability and student advocacy groups, students with mental health conditions, and family members of college students. “Facilitating open, honest conversations about mental health is an important first step toward eliminating the stigma that

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