Finishing up stop number 99 on the year in Sioux County, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) last week officially wrapped up her 99 County Tour for 2021, her seventh consecutive year completing her annual tradition of visiting every single one of Iowa’s 99 counties. Ernst celebrated with a slice of Iowa-famous pizza.
“The 99 County Tour is an Iowa tradition that folks in our state have come to expect of the people who represent them—our elected officials—and one that I’m honored to partake in year in and year out,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “There’s just no better way to represent Iowans than to be out meeting with and hearing directly from folks in every corner of our state, which is why, since first serving in the U.S. Senate, I’ve remained committed to completing my 99 County Tour every single year, including holding open and public town halls. I was grateful for the chance to visit with so many Iowans this past year and I look forward to continuing to bring your ideas and concerns to Washington.”
Each year, Senator Ernst completes her 99 County Tour, visiting every county in the state of Iowa and inviting press to join her at every one of the stops.
Here are some highlights from this year’s 99 County Tour:
Farmers and Producers
As someone who grew up on a small family farm in Southwest Iowa and as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Ernst knows firsthand the hard work Iowa’s farmers do every day to feed and fuel the world. This year, she met with several farmers and producers—some who go back generations in their trade—to hear about some of the most pressing issues they face, such as the workforce shortage and how it has impacted hiring and the threat from the Biden Administration to hit farmers with a “farm-to-table” tax hike by eliminating stepped-up in basis.
Ernst visits Plagge Farms in Franklin County, a fourth generation farm family.
With 99 percent of Iowa’s businesses being small businesses, there’s no question these hardworking folks are the backbone of our state’s economy. Senator Ernst, a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, has made fighting for Iowa’s small businesses a top priority and had the opportunity to meet directly with several small business owners and employees, especially in regards to the workforce and coming back from the pandemic.
In Clayton County, Ernst tours M’s Machine & Manufacturing. Co.—a female-owned metal fabricator.
Families and Communities
From holding multiple discussions on ways to expand access to child care, to touring one of Iowa’s community colleges to hear about workforce training in the most cutting edge industries, to hosting a number of her own open and public town halls, Senator Ernst has made hearing from and supporting Iowa’s families and communities a key priority on this year’s 99 County Tour.
In Carroll County, Ernst met with parents and local leaders to hear how they’ve come together to address the rural child care crisis in their area with projects like the Lil’ Wildcat Education Center in Glidden.
Visit the online 99 County Tour map for an overview of Ernst’s stops this year.