Recently, the Senate had a state work period, which meant I could travel across Nebraska and visit with fellow citizens to listen to what’s on their minds. These conversations are what I take back to Washington, and they help me bring our state’s common sense to Congress.

I started my week by stopping by the Nebraska City Public Schools Pioneer Career Academy. It was great visiting with students and seeing the fantastic work they are doing. The highlight of the tour came when the students presented me with two wooden plaques that they had made. It’s great to see these young people refining their skills to become successful and contribute to their community.

While in Nebraska City, I hosted an ag roundtable discussion with a good group of participants. Members from Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Pork Producers, and more came out to talk and share their concerns. This is my fifth year to host ag roundtables, but receiving this feedback is especially important as we work on the upcoming farm bill in the Senate Agriculture Committee. We discussed the importance of strong crop insurance and the need for access to broadband and technology.

I was also able to visit with friends at the Nebraska Chamber Public Affairs meeting and give an update on my work in the Senate. During my remarks, I spoke about my committee assignments, the great results we’re seeing from tax reform, and my paid family leave bill, which was recently enacted by Congress.

In Lincoln, I stopped and toured Hudl’s new headquarters in the Haymarket. This company has grown enormously — originally they were only dealing with professional and college sports. Today, they cover high school and local sports teams around the country.

I also made a visit to Nelnet’s headquarters in Lincoln. We discussed tax reform and how their business is growing with the changes implemented in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They have been able to issue bonuses to employees and reinvest in their company. Around Nebraska and the nation, people are keeping more of their hard earned money from their paychecks and that’s a good thing.

I was also very excited to be able to travel west to Kearney and tour Inter-Motion. It was fascinating to see the amazing work this business does rebuilding complex machinery. The company restores and rebuilds machines that are sent in from all corners of the world. I appreciated the invitation to come and learn about such a successful business right here in Nebraska.

In addition to hosting another ag roundtable in Kearney, I had the honor of participating in a medal ceremony with Jeff Geiselman and his wife, Gloria. The Geiselman family contacted my office for assistance in gathering the medals his father, Clifford, earned during World War II. I presented them with the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal and Europe/Africa/Middle East Campaign Medal, among others. It was an honor to be with the Geiselman family for this special occasion.

On my final day, I held a roundtable in Sarpy County, which focused on local businesses and my recently-passed paid family leave program. It was a good conversation and provided me with a number of issues that my office will be looking into. These are the important discussions I enjoy having with Nebraskans. As I return to the Senate, I look forward to sharing your thoughts and concerns with my colleagues. I’m honored to serve as your senator, and I hope you will continue to keep me informed on the issues that matter to you.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.