Grassley visits Plantpeddler

—Sees improvements, talks with employees
CRESCO - Iowa State Senator Chuck Grassley visited Plantpeddler in Cresco and other towns during Congress’ Easter break.
On April 11, owners Mike and Rachel Gooder, along with son, John and Molly Gooder, gave the senator a short tour of the Young Plants Division, which has grown since the last time Grassley visited.
Mike explained that $7.5 million has been spent on additions in the last four years. As the group was walking to where the plants are, he pointed out to Grassley the operating crane that picks up containers and move them. The cranes and other equipment are wifi-controlled.
That includes the ISO Robots, which are part of three machines that can pick up slips and plant them. “Before the technology, it took humans one hour to plant 1,000 slips. Now the three machines can do 2,200-2,500 per hour, without humans touching them.”
Ryan Martinek was introduced as an early 2022 graduate, who is now working on the ISO Robots.
After the tour, some of the employees came to listen and ask questions of Grassley. 
Who knew there were so many nationalities in Cresco and Howard County? As the employees introduced themselves, they said where they were from, answers ranged from Germany to Ghana and Liberia to Brazil, the Philippines, Des Moines and more! 
Grassley told the workers, “I’ve been here before. I try to keep up on things. It’s bigger than the last time I was here.” He went on to say he likes to go places where people can’t usually visit with him, since they are working.
The senator noted he likes to practice two-way conversations.
• To get the questions rolling, Mike asked Grassley about the Waters of the United States (WOTUS). He replied, “Historically, the 1972 Clean Air Act defined it is navigable waters, for ships to pass through.
“Washington wants to regulate everything. They want to regulate private property,” he added. During the Obama administration the definition seemed to change, which meant 97% of the land in the United States would be regulated.
[On April 12, the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota granted a preliminary injunction, stopping the Biden Administration’s new Waters of the United States rule for Iowa and 23 other states. The WOTUS rule is now on hold in a majority of states.  
• One employee asked how long Grassley has been in the Senate. “You spoke in Des Moines when I was in high school,” he added. 
The senator stated he has been in the Senate for 42 years. Mike declared, “That’s about how long we’ve been in business!”
• Gun Control: “That is a Second Amendment right. There is some limit on sales, but not much.”
• Tik Tok: “I’m concerned a lot,” Grassley replied. “We don’t know how much info is getting to China. There are two things to worry about — privacy and market, what they know about you. China laws say they can know stuff about you. I’m concerned.”
• Current committees: “I was the first non-lawyer on the Judiciary Committee and the first non-lawyer chairman.” He also serves on the Finance Committee, which works with taxes, medicaid and medicare; Ag Committee; and Budget Committee.
“The only four years we had a balanced budget were in 1997-2000, where we actually paid down debt. I’m 89. I doubt I’ll see a balanced budget in my lifetime.”
• Mike asked Grassley if he would run again. He laughed and said, I always said I would run again right away, until six years ago. Ask me in another four years,” the senator smiled.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed