One of the best aspects of being a state representative is that I get to spend my free time meeting with more and more constituents from across the district. Sometimes this is at community meetings, sometimes town hall meetings, and other times fairs and festivals.

I was pleased to make it out to the Grape Jamboree in Geneva this past week. This is one more example of a great event that the people in northeast Ohio put on. We are exceptional at planning activities for the public and scheduling top-notch entertainment, so the Jamboree was as enjoyable as ever this year.

With the opportunity to taste products that were made from freshly squeezed grapes, we are reminded of the pride we have in our communities, including our vineyards and wineries. I’m proud that during the current General Assembly, I have gotten to contribute to the success of our area wineries by getting legislation passed for their benefit at the state level.

Having an understanding of the role agriculture, manufacturing and tourism play not only across Ohio, but specifically in Ashtabula and Trumbull counties has been very helpful to me as I have worked on various bills in Columbus.

I have written before about the enormous impact agriculture has in Ohio. It’s the state’s top industry, and one out of every seven people in Ohio has a job that is tied to it. When we focus on how to make our wineries, farming and food processing better, we are doing our state a tremendous favor.

The same goes for manufacturing. It is no secret that manufacturing has employed millions of Ohioans over the years. Although our manufacturing industry is not where it once was, it is very important that we continue our efforts to retain and attract more businesses that specialize in manufacturing to this area of the state. Business by business, hundreds and thousands of more Ohioans can find employment.

Of course, for these industries to remain successful, Ohio has to be an attractive place to live, work, and visit. Not only must we take action to keep our state as friendly toward business and farming as possible, but we have to focus on drawing in more people to visit our local attractions, including the wineries. Finding a way to fund Ohio tourism has been an important accomplishment during this General Assembly.

A healthy balance of agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism will keep our local economy thriving and ensure that more residents in Ashtabula, Trumbull, and other nearby counties will have good jobs with good pay. That’s why I will continue to focus on these areas.


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