Completing my third biannual 36 county tour
When I was elected to serve Iowa’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, I promised that I would be a strong voice for our families, farmers, and rural main streets and equally transparent with and accessible to the people I represent. By officially completing my third annual 36 County Tour, I have upheld that pledge, had many invaluable discussions with Iowans, and transformed our priorities and values into sound policy and legislative victories.
Since I kicked off the first iteration of my 36 County Tour in 2021, I have made more than 230 stops at businesses, manufacturers, police departments, farms, schools, universities, hospitals, ethanol plants, and healthcare clinics. I’ve also held several town halls with Iowans and attended Rotary and Kiwanis Club meetings – to name a few. At every stop, I am inspired by the incredible work that Iowans are doing to support our families, help our neighbors, keep our main streets vibrant, and power our economy.
This year alone, I’ve made 75 different stops on my 36 County Tour. In Webster City and Logan, I met with veterans to discuss how we can work together to ensure that our men and women who have served our country receive the benefits and high-quality healthcare that they have earned. That’s why I’ve voted to provide veterans exposed to toxic hazards – like radiation, burn pits, and Agent Orange – with the healthcare coverage they need to receive lifesaving treatment, keep VA hospitals staffed and operational, support at-home care for veterans in need, and fund behavioral health resources for our veterans.
In Sanborn, Alexander, Ida Grove, Humboldt, Audubon, and Britt, I held town halls with farmers and producers to talk about the importance of a strong Farm Bill that strengthens crop insurance, helps prevent the spread of foreign animal disease, opens new export markets, and bans China from buying American farmland. I also met with pork producers in Nevada, dairy farmers in Larchwood, and turkey farmers in Manson. Following these productive conversations, I introduced legislation in Congress to protect Iowa agriculture and strengthen our agricultural economy. My Defend America’s Rural Energy Act – which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in March – would ban China from buying American farmland suitable for ethanol and biodiesel production, my FRIDGE Act would help build refrigeration infrastructure abroad to ship Iowa beef, chicken, turkey, pork, and grains worldwide, and my Crop Insurance for Future Farmers Act would keep Iowa farmland in the hands of Iowa farmers by lowering the cost of crop insurance for the next generation of producers. These are just a few of the agricultural policies whose inclusion I am advocating for in the Farm Bill.
In Sac City, Manning, Sidney, Laurens, and Spirit Lake, I visited small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy and create good jobs in our rural communities. Serving on the House Ways and Means Committee, I am working to combat inflation and lower costs for our main street businesses so that they can keep their doors open and continue to succeed. Similarly, in places like Odebolt, Humboldt, Garner, Estherville, Boone, and Hampton, I had the opportunity to see firsthand the positive impact of domestic manufacturing on our local economies. I will continue to be a staunch advocate for growing our manufacturing industry in Iowa, bringing our critical supply chains home, and promoting pro-growth tax policies that benefit our businesses and families.
I’ve also participated in many healthcare meetings across the district. In Sioux Center, I welcomed Governor Reynolds to tour Sioux Center Health where we covered the need to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare for our rural communities. In Council Bluffs, I convened a roundtable with healthcare professionals at All Care Health Center to discuss our shared support for the 340B program, which helps lower prescription-drug prices for our families. In Algona, I met with MercyOne Hospital leaders about my commitment to protect Medicare and the importance of telehealth and rural broadband to our communities.
Finally, in Council Bluffs, Sioux Center, Sioux City, and Marshalltown, I spoke to members of each respective chamber of commerce about our joint work to strengthen our economy, support our small businesses, grow our workforce, and reduce our nearly $34-trillion national debt. We also covered topics such as affordable housing tax credits, fair-trade agreements for Iowa agriculture, and reimbursement rates for rural hospitals. I appreciate all that our local chambers of commerce do to promote economic growth and keep our rural communities strong.
These stops represent only a small portion of the trips and visits I’ve made over the last three years. Beginning in January, I will kick off my fourth 36 County Tour to continue meeting with Iowans, advocating for our priorities in Congress, and deliver for the good people that I am blessed to represent.
We are government together, and your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Please contact my office at Feenstra.House.Gov or by phone at 202-225-4426 if I can ever be of assistance. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main street businesses, and rural communities in Congress.
Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, represents Iowa’s Fourth District in the U.S. House.