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Heitkamp holds rural economic development meeting

WASHINGTON — North Dakota’s U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp led a hearing Thursday on rural economic development.

Heitkamp is chairwoman on the Senate subcommittee overseeing rural development. She brought Dawn Keeley of Grafton to testify on strategies to solve local issues and prepare for growth.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien and Native American Natural Foods CEO Mark Tilson also spoke at the hearing.

“Growing up in a very small community, I have a keen understanding of how challenging it is to build and maintain economic opportunities in rural America,” Heitkamp said in the release. “This perspective helped guide my efforts to write and pass a long-term Farm Bill, and now I’m making sure these programs work for North Dakota. By building on the strengths in rural communities, we can target initiatives that will best support economic development.”

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