Abraham named Richland Chamber's Member of the Year
WASHINGTON – Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, has been named the Richland Parish Chamber of Commerce’s Member of the Year.
Dr. Abraham, a native and current resident of Richland Parish, is a member of the chamber. He owns a farm in Alto and has previously opened a veterinary clinic in Rayville and medical clinic in Mangham.
Chamber Chairman Scott Franklin presented Dr. Abraham with the award at the Chamber’s first-ever banquet held at the Rayville Civic Center on Tuesday night.
“I’m very honored to be recognized as the Member of the Year right here at home in Richland Parish,” Dr. Abraham said. “The Chamber and I share the same goals: to see more jobs and economic development come to Northeast Louisiana. It’s a mission I’ll continue for as long as I am fortunate enough to serve the people of Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District.”
Franklin said he and other chamber members “really didn’t have a decision to make” when it came to picking Dr. Abraham for the Member of the Year due to his accomplishments over the past year. He highlighted Dr. Abraham’s work during the March floods, his advocacy for agriculture disaster relief, his leadership in trying to open agriculture trade with Cuba, and his efforts to keep the Rayville hospital open as accomplishments that merited the award.
“The thing I admire most about Dr. Abraham is that he could be doing anything else in the world, but right now he chooses to hold a thankless job for the benefit of Richland Parish and all of Northeast Louisiana,” Franklin said. “All that he’s done over the course of a year is what most politicians would call a career.”
Dr. Abraham is serving in his first term in Congress, his first publicly held office. He is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, the House Veterans Affairs Committee and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
The Richland Chamber of Commerce was established a little over a year ago. Tuesday’s banquet marked the first in what the Chamber hopes will become an annual event.
Franklin said the Chamber’s goal in the short term is to highlight small businesses and help them expand. The Chamber’s long-term goal is to attract an advanced manufacturing plant capable of supporting 2,000 jobs. Franklin said the parish’s access to interstate and intrastate highways, its proximity to the Mississippi River, relative closeness to hubs like Dallas and Atlanta, high water table, and quality of the land make it an ideal place for a manufacturing plant to grow and ship its products.