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Agri-Pulse reports:

Washington - Many rural counties are still struggling with COVID-19, high unemployment and the environmental impact from natural disasters and wildfires. How will all these competing, and often complex factors be addressed in a new congress?

Those are some of the topics Agri-Pulse plans to explore during a webinar discussion "Top rural issues in the New Congress: A discussion with Rep. Dusty Johnson, Rep. Abigail Spanberger and AEM's Kip Eideberg" on Feb. 12 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST Agri-Pulse Managing Editor Spencer Chase will serve as moderator.

Both Representatives are members of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture and Rep. Spanberger chairs the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee.

"COVID-19 exposed cracks in our systems," said Johnson. "From supply chain issues to foreign investments, Congress needs to support policies that strengthen American agriculture producers and manufacturers. It's no secret strong rural economies are the lifeblood of many states - that's why it's so important rural issues continue to be at the forefront of our discussions in Washington."

"Our rural communities and farm families have experienced tremendous challenges and uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis," said Spanberger. "As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I'm looking forward to a timely conversation focused on how we respond to the current issues facing rural America. During the event, I hope to discuss how those of us in Congress can build a stronger pathway toward greater opportunity, expanded rural infrastructure, climate-smart conservation policies, and initiatives that bring the voices of crop and livestock producers to the decision-making table."

AEM is a sponsor of this upcoming webinar, which will focus on rural issues like the need for better broadband and other types of infrastructure, trade, jobs in the rural economy, education and workforce development, and climate.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how critical manufacturers and farmers are to our economy and our way of life," said Kip Eideberg, AEM senior vice president of government and industry relations. "As we continue to navigate the unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are looking to their elected officials to support pro-manufacturing policies and work in a bipartisan fashion to make sure that manufacturers and rural communities continue to thrive."

Register now to join the webinar by clicking here.

Learn more about the speakers:

Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. represents South Dakota's at-large congressional district since 2019. He previously served as a South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner from 2005-2011 and then was appointed chief of staff to Gov. Dennis Daugaard. He resigned from that post in 2014 to join Vantage Point Solutions in 2014, a position he held until being elected to Congress. Johnson serves on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-V.A. is proud to represent Virginia's 7th Congressional District, which is comprised of 10 counties throughout Central Virginia. She began her career in public service, first serving as a federal agent with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigating money laundering and narcotics cases, and then serving as a case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) working counterterrorism and nuclear nonproliferation cases.

Representative Spanberger serves on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture - chairing the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee and the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Kip Eideberg. Kip Eideberg is Senior Vice President Government & Industry Relations at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). As Head of the Washington, D.C. Office, he guides strategy for AEM's government relations, public affairs, grassroots advocacy and policy efforts, working with member companies and allied organizations.

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