Recently I had the honor of attending the sign raising to commemorate the new “Cpl. Caleb L. Erickson Memorial Highway.

This is the renamed section of Hwy. 13 that I was able to get included in the final transportation budget. Former state Sen. Mike Parry was the driving force behind raising the money for this new signage. He did a great job, as did everyone involved in this effort to honor Caleb.

As many of you know, Marine Lance Cpl. Caleb L. Erickson was born and raised in Waseca. After graduating from Waseca High School in 2012, he joined the Marines and eventually deployed to Afghanistan. Cpl. Erickson was killed on Feb. 28, 2014 in Helmand Province, when his convoy came under attack by a suicide bomber.

By all accounts, Lance Cpl. Erickson was the life of any room he entered. He was known for his infectious smile, his positive attitude, and his zeal for life. He dreamed of serving his country and leaped at the chance to join the Marines at the first opportunity. Our heart breaks for his family and friends, but we are eternally grateful for his call to service, his selflessness, and his love of country. This honor is just a small tribute to a true hero.

Supporting farmers in the fields

As someone who was born and raised in greater Minnesota, I know how important a thriving agriculture economy is to Minnesota’s success. This year we passed an agriculture budget that prioritizes farmers in the fields, so they can continue to do what they do best: keep us healthy, well-fed, and leading the world in agriculture innovation.

An important aim of the bill is to fix vulnerabilities in our agriculture supply chains that were exposed during the course of the pandemic. The bill also makes important investments in meat processors, which will help provide more jobs, improve efficiency, and provide consumers with more options.

The budget provides farm safety grants and mental health funding, makes investments to continue battling noxious weeds, gives additional resources to boost international trade, and allows for greater funding of farm-to-school programming.

If you have any questions about any of these issues or anything else facing the state of Minnesota, feel free to contact me any time at sen.john.jasinski@senate.mn or 651-296-0284. It is a privilege to serve you!

John Jasinski, R-Faribault, represents District 24 in the Minnesota Senate.

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