U.S. Senator Tina Smith leads first hearing as chair of rural development and energy panel

Times Report
Crookston Times

    On June 22, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) led her first hearing as chair of a Senate rural development and energy panel, where leaders from Minnesota and across the country discussed opportunities for jobs and economic development in rural America that expanding the nation’s use of renewable energy will bring.

    Among those speaking at the hearing was Shannon Schlecht, executive director of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) in Crookston. He testified virtually from his Crookston office.

    Smith was joined by Ranking Member Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and other members of the subcommittee at the hearing, entitled, "Renewable Energy - Growth and Opportunities for Our Rural Economies."

    In addition to Schlecht, other speakers included:

    • Katie Sieben, Chairwoman, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, St. Paul

    • Emily Skor, Chief Executive Officer, Growth Energy, Washington, DC

    • Bill Cherrier, Executive Vice President and CEO, Central Iowa Power Cooperative, Des Moines, Iowa

    • Matthew Mancuso, Dean, Industrial Technology, Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Shannon Schlect of AURI