Klobuchar working to secure $500,000 for Hormel Institute

Published 7:27 am Thursday, August 20, 2009

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was in Austin Wednesday, part of her pact to schedule one significant meeting in every Minnesota county each year.

Klobuchar toured the Hormel Institute, met with institute officials as well as other members of the Austin business community and announced that $500,000 in funding for the institute is on its way to the Senate for approval.

“It’s a great honor,” said Dr. Ann Bode, associate director and professor at the Hormel Institute, of the senator’s visit. “She’s been a very strong supporter of biobusiness and bioscience in southern Minnesota and of the institute, so it’s really a great honor to have her take the time.”

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The $500,000 in funding is part of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010, has passed the Senate committee and is awaiting full senate approval.

“With these funds, the Hormel Institute would be able to strengthen its research capacity to become a world leader in discovering new methods to treat and prevent disease,” Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar visited the Steele County Fair Tuesday night and said it’s important that she visit as many places as possible.

“One, I get ideas,” the senator said. “Two, I find out which projects are good, and three, I get to talk to people and find out what their views are.”

Klobuchar toured the Institute with Colleen Landkamer, Minnesota’s rural development executive director.

The senator also met with institute executive director Dr. Zigang Dong to discuss the role the Institute plays in the Austin-area economy and the importance of keeping Minnesota at the forefront of medical breakthroughs.

The Hormel Institute was established in 1942 by Jay C. Hormel and is a medical research center that focuses on cancer prevention and control. It is part of the University of Minnesota and a collaborative partner of Mayo Clinic.