Douglas County and the rest of the Seventh Congressional District have a new face on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.

In 2020, Republican Rep. Michelle Fischbach beat Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson, then the committee chairman. She served many years in the Minnesota Senate before that.

A lawyer, she lives in the Paynesville area at the far southern end of a district that stretches up to the Canadian border.

Fischbach did not respond to an Echo Press invitation for an interview.

However, she did email a list of her priorities on the ag committee. They are:

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  • Ensure adequate access to broadband internet. “More than one in five farms in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District currently lack access to high-speed internet,” the email said. It added that broadband access is important for agriculture as well as for remote schooling and telehealth.
  • Revitalize roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.
  • Protect and improve risk management tools available to farmers to help it weather the market effects of the pandemic.
  • Expand market access for western Minnesota farmers.

Fischbach, who voted against the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, said that she does support relief for farmers and agriculture producers to help them get through the pandemic.

“All relief should be temporary, targeted to those who need it the most, and directly related to COVID-19,” she said.