Something special happened in Janesville yesterday—SHINE Medical broke ground on Building One, where they will begin to build prototype machines and train employees. They will produce a medical isotope to assist with treating cancer and other medical conditions, something we currently have to import from other countries. Paul remarked at the groundbreaking:
“Isn’t it kind of crazy that we have to rely on foreign countries to supply us with these medical isotopes . . . why would we want to have to rely on another country to supply something so precious and important as this?”
“Right here in America, in Janesville, Wisconsin, we will be providing this really crucial medical technology. Right here so we can rely on ourselves.”
Paul also visited Blain’s Farm and Fleet with Secretary Perdue to hear from Blain’s store managers about issues dairy and crop farmers are facing. In case you missed it, here are some highlights:
Janesville Gazette: The event was part of Perdue's "Back to Our Roots" tour, a five-state RV journey across the Upper Midwest. Perdue is meeting with farmers and other agriculture industry leaders to gather input on the upcoming 2018 farm bill. Ryan championed the state's connection to farming as he introduced Perdue. “We are America's Dairyland,” Ryan said. “Don't listen to California.”
WMTV: The tour focuses on getting input from people who work in the agriculture business on how policies in Washington could benefit the industry. It's also focused on the 2018 Farm Bill. In his opening remarks, Secretary Perdue said the USDA would work closely with Congress and farmers as it creates the 2018 Farm Bill. Speaker Ryan and Secretary Perdue held a closed question and answer session with employees, getting input on their role as distributors for farmers.
Janesville Gazette: SHINE CEO Greg Piefer told The Gazette on Thursday that SHINE hopes the prototype, which it's calling "Building One," can be completed by the end of 2017, and that SHINE could be using it to test and demonstrate its low-enriched uranium particle accelerator technology “from tip to tail” by early to mid-2018.
Ryan called Piefer “dogmatic” and "tenacious," and he said SHINE’s prototype facility is proof of “a concept and an idea coming to fruition” after years of research, development and the at-times daunting processes of private fundraising and federal regulatory approval.
Ryan had scheduled several stops in the area Thursday and Friday. He said he sees SHINE as a company that’s helping Janesville "lean forward” toward opportunity and innovation and reinvent its economy after the 2008 loss of General Motors.
Ryan also praised research programs in Wisconsin’s university and technical college systems, which he said spawn and encourage home-grown companies such as SHINE. The rest of the world is taking note that a Wisconsin startup is trying to bring domestic production of the crucial medical testing drug mo-99 to the U.S., Ryan said.