U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst stops by Corteva Agriscience in Dysart

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) pictured inside the Corteva Agriscience facility in Dysart during her visit on June 10. Ernst is speaking with production location manager John Schutt. –Contributed photo

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) made a stop at the Corteva Agriscience facility in Dysart on June 10, in order to learn more about recent efforts meant to support farmers and agriculture workers.

Ernst was available at the end of the closed tour to speak with Tama-Grundy Publishing regarding her visit, as well as other issues facing both the county and country.

“Being able to come out and seeing the Corteva operations here, and understanding what products that they are pushing out the door. We talked about labor shortages, which is something that we see everywhere with the supply chain interruption,” Ernst said.

The interruption of the supply chain has been affecting many aspects of everyday life for Iowans, which includes hunger.

One in eight Iowa children faces hunger according to Feeding America.

“Food insecurity is a big topic right now globally, knowing that we have Corteva operating here in Iowa providing the types of services that folks are in desperate need of,” Ernst said.

Inflation has also caused daily life to become more difficult for Iowans. It caused construction costs to soar that led to the shutdown of the largest project in Iowa, the Iowa Premium Beef expansion in nearby Tama. The project was set to bring nearly 400 more jobs to the area.

“Nothing as far as the federal government right now is concerned [will bring construction costs down],” Ernst said. “There are a lot of things that I would like to see done and easing up on regulation, easing up on fuel costs by producing more energy here at home. Making sure that we are solving these port issues and container issues. We need to focus on that and yet we don’t see the federal government coming out of the White House, we don’t see them focusing on the issues that are affecting everyday Americans.”

Gun violence has also continued to be a major topic of discussion throughout the country.

There have been over 250 mass shootings in the United States since the beginning of the year, which does not include the Cornerstone Church shooting that took place on the outskirts of Ames on June 2 – killing two victims and the shooter.

According to a Public Policy Polling survey, 83 percent of gun owners support universal background checks before the purchase of a firearm.

When asked about her stance on universal background checks, Ernst responded, “There are a lot of things that we’re considering right now in the Senate and I think the Senate is the key. The House will pass whatever the House wants to pass but in the Senate, it does have to be a bipartisan solution. So what we’re looking at is a way that yes, we need background checks, we know and understand that. But there is a lot that traditional background checks through NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) that it doesn’t pick up. Not picking up on mental health issues, not picking up on some of the juvenile actions that have been masked. So we’ve got to have a real hard conversation about what we can include as part of those background checks. I do think that there are a lot of ideas that are being floated around, the good news for everybody is that we are considering a lot of different options. It’s not that we’re going to endorse one plan or another, but at least we’re having those hard conversations.”