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Feenstra walks through Seneca Foundry

WEBSTER CITY — Within the large, dark room, light flashes from the molten iron. Noise permeates the scene, as workers move with the intent of getting their jobs done.

Located in a 35,000-square-foot facility off of 240 MacKinlay Kantor Drive in Webster City, Seneca Foundry specializes in gray and ductile iron castings with a customer base spanning from coast to coast.

On Tuesday afternoon, it was the latest stop in U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra’s biennial 36-county tour.

As Feenstra, R-Hull, was led around the facility by Lori Mason, Seneca Foundry’s current president, and Kirk McCullough, former president, for a span of 45 minutes, the three brought up topics such as domestic manufacturing, workforce issues and tax policies that could help out the manufacturer.

By the time he walked out of the door and onto his next endeavor, Feenstra provided plenty of praise for the Webster City business that has been around since 1909.

“I’m so proud of Seneca Foundry and what they’re doing here in Webster City,” Feenstra said. “The employees that they have, what they’re doing and their parts that they provide — which are all over the nation. It’s an economic engine, not only for this area, but for the 4th District and for the state of Iowa.”

Seneca Foundry boasts more than a fair share of clients with a variety of molding processes, when it comes to gray and ductile iron castings. While the Webster City-based enterprise has a wide range and the capability for high volume work, their specialty is quality — from one to 1,000-piece runs.

Mason appreciated the visit from the congressman.

“The visit was very positive,” Mason said. “I appreciate his time in stopping in today, and he was definitely listening to concerns that we have and sometimes, that’s the most that you can ask for.”

McCullough also provided insights to the tour. Prior to the walkthrough, McCullough spoke about the history of his family’s business, from its humble origins to its current location, which was built in 1972.

“From my side of it, I like telling our story,” McCullough said. “It’s nice that he listens to that, and gets a sense of history to businesses here in Iowa. He gets to see what we do and how we fit into the local and national economies. He can put the pieces together.”

Through his tour, Feenstra is able to paint a picture and advocate for his constituents throughout Iowa’s fourth district.

“To see what’s happening in every county and in every community, there are diamonds,” Feenstra said. “Seneca Foundry is one of those diamonds that not everybody understands. What I do is to advocate on their behalf in Washington, D.C. Whether it is environmental, workforce or taxing issues, I want to be their voice. It’s not always fighting for policies, it’s working with agencies that affect their business.”

Currently Feenstra is working on the current Farm Bill and efforts regarding the debt ceiling.

“(The upcoming Farm Bill) affects the whole agricultural community, and how that works,” Feenstra said. “I sit on the agricultural committee and I’m very involved with that process. The debt ceiling is another issue. We’ve spent $31 trillion and we have to figure out a way to start paying that back and how to raise the ceiling, which is two-fold. I’m trying to resolve that issue.”

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