I have spent a lot of time in laboratories. I started my career as an intern at the EPA testing water, soil, and air for heavy metal contaminants. I learned early on how shamelessly big corporations pollute our environment, fully knowledgable of the human health impact of their greed.
After that, I worked as a bench top chemist for a large corn processor. After 10 days on the job, I started wheezing and my lungs and throat burned. When I called in sick, my boss said, "Go to the doctor, and ask them for these prescriptions. You'll feel better after you get used to breathing the air here."
So, I found a new job, setting up chemistry equipment, and teaching people how to use new technology. My life has been a giant episode of "How It's Made." I have helped plants that make cookies, chips, food ingredients, dairy products, pet food, chicken nuggets, animal feed, and more.
I learned manufacturing best practices, food safety, and how to solve really big problems using chemistry and collaboration. It turns out that you can learn a lot from people with much different backgrounds if you stop to listen and learn from others.
My problem-solving background makes me uniquely qualified to work with Missouri farmers, producers, regulators, and workers. I believe in championing working families and enacting policies that strengthen our supply chain, protecting the environment, and ensuring worker safety.
One of the greatest threats to our supply chain comes from corporate consolidation of family farms & food processing. The profit-over-people model makes us less safe, pollutes the environment, screws American farmers, and drives up the cost of goods due to lack of competition and bad international trade deals.
I believe in protecting American workers and farmers because it is a matter of national defense and security. It's also the right thing to do. We must enact a new Marshall Plan to support U.S. agricultural infrastructure, and we must pass the ProAct to secure and defend our workforce.