I had a glorious day recently in Higginsville, Odessa, and Wellington. The sun was shining and the company was tremendous. I spent the day visiting with constituents throughout the area to ensure I was hearing concerns and answering any questions. And there are so many questions these days about what Congress is doing. Or, should I more correctly say, what Congress is not doing? While the bickering and partisan politics continue in our nation's capitol, there is still much work that needs to be done. Our economy is rebounding, yet still very fragile. Hardworking families are working even harder, and still struggling to pay the basic bills. Farmers, ranchers, and producers in Missouri's Fifth District desperately want -- and need -- certainty and direction from Washington, in order to make sound business decisions and compassionate choices at home.
Mr. John Hanford was kind enough to show me around his watershed site and share his experiences surrounding the challenges and general upkeep. The watersheds were originally built with federal assistance, but federal funding has been discontinued in recent years. Large and expensive repairs will be beyond the capability of local watershed districts to pay for, and some of the dams that protect homes and infrastructure, like roads and railways, could be in jeopardy if the dams fail. Discussing possible avenues for funding to help finance potential repairs to drain pipes and others parts of the dam, if necessary, were an important part of our discussions.
I also visited with many area residents during the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Lafayette County Farm Bureau. We discussed issues facing farmers, including economic security, increasing opportunities for organic farmers and creating better communications and cooperation between the different areas of agriculture. One of the things I pledged to assist with is continuing education about the origin of the food we eat and the symbiotic relationship between rural, suburban, and urban parts of Missouri's Fifth District. This is such a critical part of moving forward together. We all depend on each other, and benefit from the roles we play and the services we provide. It is through working together, better understanding one another, and respecting all people, that we strengthen our vibrant communities -- and leave our cities and towns better for our children.