Last week I shared my views on the disastrous and heartbreaking situation in Afghanistan. Only moments after the bulletin was sent, we learned that a family here in the Third District lost their son in the attacks at the Kabul airport. Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz lost his life in his pursuit to get as many people to safety as possible. Because of him and his fellow soldiers, thousands of Americans did make it to safety and get to see their loved ones again. His bravery saved lives and his sacrifice will be forever remembered as an example of the heroism that made this country and maintains our freedom.

In the coming days, weeks, and months we will continue to learn more about the administration’s failures that cost American lives. The President must answer for those failures, and I will do my best to keep you updated as that process continues. Just like you, my job demands that I continue serving your needs and the needs of our district while we focus our efforts on accountability and getting as many people out of Afghanistan as possible. Please know that when we discuss lighter topics, as we will in this column, that I do it in order to keep you informed on everything we’re doing around the district. I also do it knowing the only reason we get to visit, share our opinions, and speak freely is because Americans like Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz – dating back to the beginning of our country – fought and died for our right to do so.

As the top Republican on the Small Business Committee, checking in with small businesses around the Third District is an especially critical part of my job now. This new role has given me an even larger platform to help small businesses and continue to support them as they deal with the ripple effects of COVID like labor shortages and supply chain interruptions. I had the opportunity to meet with several Missouri business owners throughout the several weeks and got some invaluable feedback. Recently, I had a great visit at the Edelbrand Pure Distilling in Marthasville. This family business is a perfect example of quality over quantity, creating small-batch spirits with great attention to detail and selling largely to restaurants and bars right here in Missouri.

Another great Third District business I had the opportunity to meet with is the Melton Machine & Control Company in Washington, MO. With a little over 120 employees, this automated welding systems business has been 100% employee-owned since 1985, a testament to their small business culture and employee loyalty. Our state has a very strong manufacturing industry, and small businesses like Melton Machine showcase the fact that bigger isn’t always better.

I always have a wonderful time at the State Fair and was glad to have the opportunity to catch up with many of you again this year. It’s hard not to love going to a place with local entertainment, ag showcases, livestock competitions, and great food all in one. I stopped by the ag building to check in with the Missouri soybean and corn farmers, two of our state’s most important ag products, to hear how conditions have been for this year’s crops. I also had the opportunity to attend the Missouri Farm Bureau’s press conference where we discussed the need to protect our state’s farm and ranch families from excessive taxes and regulations. My last stops were to the Pork House and Beef House (where I flipped a few steaks!) to speak to some Missouri livestock producers and thank them for all they do for our state’s supply chain and economy. Agriculture and livestock are quintessentially Missourian, and the State Fair is a great place for them to showcase their hard work.

This has been an especially memorable summer with the Missouri Bicentennial and the wonderful celebrations that have taken place to commemorate this milestone. And the celebrations are not over yet. Governor Parson will be hosting an Inaugural Bicentennial Parade right here in the Third District in Jefferson City on September 18. For more information, please visit

This weekend we will celebrate Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer.  Kids are back in school, temperatures will start to dip under 100 degrees (thank goodness), fall sports have begun and we all settle back into our regular routines after a few months of the fun that summer typically brings. I hope you and your families have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!

CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube siteFacebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.