Donnelly vists farmers, ag representatives during tour

2013-01-17T17:45:00Z 2013-01-18T19:44:09Z Donnelly vists farmers, ag representatives during tourJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

MORGAN TOWNSHIP | U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly greeted local farmers and representatives of the agriculture industry Thursday morning at the Birky farm.

It was the second of four stops of the day and the 16th of 18 planned stops during four days as part of Donnelly's "I Work for You" tour around the state before he returns to Washington D.C. on Saturday.

"There is so much more wisdom in Indiana than there is in Washington," Donnelly told reporters during an availability session prior to meeting with the agricultural experts. That meeting was closed to the media.

Donnelly said the tour focused primarily on meeting with business, agricultural and education interests.

Earlier in the day, he'd met with a business in South Bend and after a chat with farmers in Morgan Township, he headed to Hammond to talk to people at the Hammond Academy of Science and Technology.

After that, he went south to Purdue University where he spoke with representatives of the agricultural department and hoped to chat with the university's new president -- and former Indiana governor -- Mitch Daniels.

Donnelly said he was taking the information back to Washington in hopes of working with others in Congress to move the country forward.

"I don't want to worry about Republicans and Democrats. I want to focus on how do we put people to work," he said, adding the best social program is making sure "mom and dad have a job."

While meeting with the media, Donnelly commented on President Barack Obama's proposed gun control measures and the work ahead in the nation's capital.

"I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment," said Donnelly, adding he's also a father who is concerned that students should have a safe place to study and people should feel safe in their work environments.

While he didn't address Obama's proposed ban on assault weapons, Donnelly said he supported improving background check requirements and more study regarding the mental health component of the proposal.

"I'm hoping we are going to come together in having gun sense," he said.

"But the biggest fight is how are we going to work together to move this country forward," he said, adding he anticipates discussions on the debt, debt reduction, taxes and the economy to be at the forefront.

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