U.S. Senator and potential presidential candidate Kamala Harris got some attention for a recent trip to the Central Valley, where she talked with industrial farmers. It was billed as a first step to develop relationship in the Valley.

Harris would be wise to do much more—the Valley is a two-fer for her, since it allows her to do her job while building a profile that will serve her national ambitions

On the state level, the Valley is a place with enormous potential. IF you want to make California better – more educated, healthier with better infrastructure, and less poverty – you need to invest in the Valley. The Valley is poised for transformational improvements with the right policies and more dollars. And with Republicans controlling Washington D.C., Harris has an opportunity to make deals that could help the Valley and thus the state.

And if Harris could make herself part of solutions in the Valley, she would gain in national standing. The Democratic Party is desperate to show it has ideas and interest for the smaller cities and rural areas of the United States. Harris, by doing good work among the relatively smaller cities and rural areas of California, could then make the case for taking the Valley’s example nationwide.

For Harris, the road to the presidency may well run through the Valley.