Hoeven to Host Bushel Founder Jake Joraanstad at State of the Union Address

Senator Highlights Importance of Technology as ND’s Third Wave of Economic Growth, Intersection with Established Industries like Agriculture and Energy

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that he will host Jake Joraanstad, founder of Bushel, as his guest at the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 4. Bushel develops mobile applications for farmers and ranchers, helping improve their communication with other businesses in the agriculture supply chain, like grain elevators, and empowering them to make decisions based on the latest information.

The senator invited Joraanstad to highlight North Dakota’s growing technology sector, which serves as the third wave in the state’s economic growth. Hoeven has worked since his time as governor to promote technological innovation and investment to diversify the state’s economy and add value to the state’s traditional industries, like agriculture and energy.

“Bushel represents the intersection of two vital industries in North Dakota, agriculture and technology, and their success shows the value that new entrepreneurs and innovators can add to all of our established industries,” said Hoeven. “That’s why we remain hard at work to keep growing North Dakota as a hub of technology entrepreneurship. Our state is already a global leader in agriculture and energy, and technology serves as the third leg of the stool, creating innovations that spur investment and growth throughout our economy.

“We’re excited to have Jake in Washington this week for the State of the Union address because it’s an opportunity to celebrate a major milestone for his company, which met its fundraising goal of $19.5 million in December, and to highlight the broad benefits of supporting tech startups in our state.”

Hoeven, who serves as a member of the Entrepreneurship Caucus, is working to help entrepreneurs invest in their operations and have greater certainty as they move to start their own businesses. Further, through initiatives like the Centers of Excellence program and his annual State of Technology Conference, the senator has helped promote new opportunities for innovation and investment, both in the state’s traditional industries and in newer sectors, including mobile technology, biotech and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

To this end, Hoeven is advancing:

  • The Support Our Start-Ups Act, bipartisan legislation he introduced with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) to enable entrepreneurs to deduct more of the start-up costs for their business and invest more into their operations sooner.
  • The Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act, bipartisan legislation he helped introduce that would make portable benefits more accessible for entrepreneurs and provide greater certainty for them and their families. 
  • The deployment of broadband infrastructure, including in rural areas, which supports the implementation of precision agriculture technologies. Among other things, Hoeven has secured more than $1.6 billion across fiscal years 2018-2020 for the ReConnect Program, a rural broadband loan and grant pilot program.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education. The senator cosponsored legislation that was signed into law last year to expand National Science Foundation STEM initiatives to young children and increase their interest in these fields at an earlier age. 
    • Further, as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven helped secure strong funding for the federal Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) programs to help ensure adequate support for student and faculty research at universities like NDSU and UND.
  • Legislation to promote college affordability, including the Employer Participation in Repayment Act and the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, both of which he cosponsored.