Pat Roberts enjoys his visits to his hometown of Dodge City. After all, it's much different than where he works.
Roberts, a US senator from Kansas, has come home for a variety of reasons, but one very important one.
"It's always a blessing to be home in Dodge City," Roberts said on Monday in an interview with the Daily Globe. "It gives me a chance to relax and recharge.
"There's a big difference between Washington (D.C.) and southwest Kansas."
The senator attended a brick ceremony at The Depot on Sunday afternoon in which he was honored with a brick as honorary chairman for the Depot restoration.
"Dodge City is a community on the go," he said. "It has been for a few years.
"It has the arena, the casino. It has always been a community that comes together when needed."
Roberts said part of his reason for coming home is to get a real feel for what's on the minds of Kansas residents.
"Right after the 2014 election, we're used to having a year or so to get things done in Congress," he said. "This time, we didn't have that.
"Right after the 2014 election, the national media began focusing on the presidential election and Donald Trump, the Democrats and other things.
"Coming home allows me to see what's important to Kansans. It brings to focus the real issues important to southwest Kansas and the rest of the state."
The senator said the 6th District Federal Court's recent stay of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act -- or Waters of the United States act -- is big for farmers.
"That was needed," Roberts said. "This act by the EPA is wrong. They took federal dollars and created an ap which was connected to all the environmental groups in the nation.
"They started getting comments and went and said '90 percent of Americans want clean water.' The problem is it was a two-page act with 88 pages of regulations.
"Farmers knew it had nothing to do with their dry creek beds and farm ponds, but not according to the EPA. This was a good stay and we need this blocked."
Roberts knows what's important to farmers as he chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.
"As chairman, I get to hear a lot of 'we need to do this,'" joked Roberts. "It's a position I take very seriously as I've always taken the time to meet with and listen to farmers."
One aspect Roberts wants more work on is childhood nutrition.
"There are some who want more nutritional guidelines for school children," Roberts said. "I understand that, but at what point is that dictating to people what they can and can't have.
"There's still too much food waste and that's not good either."
The senator will end his visit with a tour of Western Plains Medical Complex.
"There's always some new wrinkle with the Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- that makes things difficult for medical personnel," Roberts said. "It's important to always touch base with medical people."
Roberts will soon return to the nation's capital, but will be looking forward to his next trip home.
"I love Dodge City, I grew up here," the senator said. "I'm always happy when I come home and when I leave, I'm always wanting to come back."