Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 8/12/2019
TOP: Farmfest forum, Future Farmers of America, and Sonny Perdue
Last week I attended Minnesota Farmfest in Morgan. It was a great event again this year, with many familiar faces and good discussions. I was glad to host a forum with Secretary Perdue where we discussed trade, the ongoing tariffs, and China. At the panel with members of the House Agriculture Committee and other members of the Minnesota delegation, we discussed the USMCA, farm bill implementation, and answered questions and concerns raised by concerned farmers. The first questions of the forum was from Kevin Paap, who asked about bipartisanship and the need to work together to get things done. I think it is a great place to start every discussion as we address the challenges facing our country. While we may be discussing dairy, trade and ethanol, we must never lose sight that each of these policies are really about strengthening our rural economy and giving the next generation a better future to pursue success in the place we call home. I was glad to hear from farmers in the 7th district and meet with folks who keep our agriculture economy running, and even have some sweet corn ice cream with the Minnesota Corn Growers. Next week, I look forward to continuing my work in the district and hearing from constituents in Minnesota’s 7th.
Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District
Minnesota Farmfest August 6-8
Secretary Sonny Perdue, Congresswoman Angie Craig, Congressman Jim Hagedorn, Congressman Pete Stauber, Congressman Dean Phillips, and Congressman Ted Yoho at the forum on Wednesday
Last week at Farmfest, I hosted a listening session to give folks a chance to ask federal lawmakers about the big issues facing agriculture. I was glad to host the panel that included Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, members of the House Agriculture Committee, and members of the Minnesota Delegation. Farmers and leaders of local and national farm organizations had many questions for the panel and they took advantage of the opportunity to share their thoughts directly with the Administration and their elected representatives.
Farmers for Free Trade supporting the USMCA
With additional tariffs on China set to go into effect on September 1st, the trade war was the topic of many questions asked during the session. Agricultural goods have been the target of retaliatory tariffs that have significantly reduced our producers' access to markets in China. Farmers are already struggling with low commodity prices and extreme weather, so attendees pressed the panel to resolve the trade dispute with China immediately. We discussed the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the outlook for enacting the Agreement this year. I am optimistic that Congress will enact the agreement and I will continue urging members on both sides of the aisle to support it. As one of the earliest supporters of the USMCA, I have been urging Speaker Pelosi to hold a vote on the USMCA as soon as it has the support to pass.
CLOCKWISE Top Right: Eating Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Minnesota Corn Growers, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Soybean Association with Congresswoman Angie Craig, and Minnesota Pork Producers Association.
Dairy Margin Coverage
The panel took questions about the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program and the benefits it has for small and medium sized dairies. The 2018 Farm Bill made significant changes to the dairy program that increased coverage margins and lowered premiums for producers. If a dairy producer participated in the Margin Protection Program in 2014-2017, they can receive a refund of 50% of their MPP premiums, or use 75% percent of their MPP premium as a credit to sign up for DMC. Dairy Margin Coverage allows dairy farmers to protect the margin between the national All Milk Price and the national average feed cost.
Minnesota Cattlemen Association’s booth with Congressman Angie Craig to eat some beef and discuss trade and gray wolf delisting.
CLOCKWISE Top Right: Porkchop on a stick with Secretary Perdue, Interview with Secretary Perdue, Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau, Lynn Ketelson of Linder Farm Network
Minnesotans for Line 3
Minnesotans for Line 3 thanked me for my support of the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline. It is safer to ship fuel by pipeline and pipelines are a major source of revenue for rural counties in the district, which is why I am proud to support these projects.
The University of Minnesota honored Farm Families of the Year at Farmfest last Thursday. One family from each Minnesota county was honored at the program for their contributions to agriculture and their local communities. Congratulations to this year’s farm families from the 7th!
- Cobrey and Melissa Mattson, Becker County
- Frenzel Family, Beltrami County
- Tom and Mary Arens, Big Stone County
- Lee Farms, Chippewa County
- Grommesh Family Farm, Clay County
- Steve and Cheryl Dick Family, Cottonwood County
- John and Rotchana Ledermann
- Paulson Farms, Kandiyohi County
- Daniel and Diane Younggren, Kittson County
- Weber Family, Lac qui Parle County
- Ed and Kay Arnesen, Lake of the Woods County
- Schalek Family Farm, Lincoln County
- Ben and Stacey Ludeman Family, Lyon County
- Swiers Family, Mahnomen County
- Philip and Denise Olson, Marshall County
- Ide Grain Farm, McLeod County
- Herrig Family, Murray County
- David and Linda Roesch, Norman County
- David and Gayle Dahlen & Kelly and Brenda Dahlen, Pennington County
- Bobendrier Family, Pipestone County
- Capistran Family, Polk County
- Daniel and Linda Jenniges, Pope County
- Randy and Josie Myhre, Red Lake County
- Joel and Amanda Mathiowetz Family, Redwood County
- Schroeder Family, Renville County
- MD Partnership, Rock County
- Donald and Sharon Christianson, Roseau County
- Asmus Family, Sibley County
- Dockendorf Dairy, Stearns County
- Mark and Deb Erickson, Stevens County
- Steve and Lisa Collins, Swift County
- Cooperativa Agua, Gorda Familia Garcia, Todd County
- Jeff and Sherry Borgheiinck Family, Traverse County
- Stuehrenberg Family, Wilkin County
- Darrell and Dawn Regnier, Yellow Medicine County
Todd County Farmers Union Picnic
Photo is courtesy of Pat Lunemann
Last Sunday, I spoke at the annual Todd County Farmers Union Picnic in Clarissa, Minnesota. The Todd County Farmers Union provided food, music, and a chance for community members to meet with local farmers.
The Mahnomen airport is now open to pilots traveling and in need of a resting stop. They can enjoy a new terminal facility for rest and information.
Night to Unite
Last week, Thief River Falls held a community gathering on “Night to Unite” at the Peder Englestad Pioneer Village. The Northland Community College Band and the Kathy Erickson Band performed, and many exhibits were open for the public.
Dairy Margin Coverage Program Signup
Signup for the new Dairy Margin Coverage began on June 17th, and dairy producers have started receiving their first payments in the mail. This program provides protection against dramatic shifts in milk or feed prices, and can provide increased financial certainty for folks in the dairy industry. Dairy producers recognize the benefits of DMC, but would like to see a market environment where government benefits are not needed.
EPA’s Waivers Undermine the RFS, Corn Market
On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced 31 small refinery exemption waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Farmers are on the front lines of the tariff war, and this announcement will only make things worse. As co-Chair of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, I have worked to stop the EPA from approving waivers to the RFS that hurt ethanol producers.
4-H in Becker County
Last Week, the history of 4-H in Becker County was featured in the Detroit Lakes Tribune. The first 4-H club in Becker County started in 1917 and had 163 members, organized out of 13 schools. In 1938, 4-H Club members reached an all-time high of 987 boys and girls.
This past week the Campaign to Fix the Debt recognized me as one of only 10 Members of Congress to vote against the latest budget deal and the Tax Cuts and Jobs act, two pieces of legislation that will add over $4 trillion of projected debt.
As a fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrat, I have continually supported a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which would require Congress to get our fiscal house in order. I have also fought for Pay-As-You-Go legislation to ensure legislation doesn’t add to our debt and recently voted against the Democratic budget which would have worsened our fiscal situation.
This Week in History
On August 6th, 1886, John Quincy Adams, a journalist, intellectual, and civil rights proponent, arrived in St. Paul to begin his new post as editor of the Western Appeal (later the Appeal), through which he championed civil rights. He was born to free parents in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1848, he was also a member of the National Afro-American Council and president of the Afro-American Newspaper Association. He died in St. Paul on September 3, 1922.
Visitors from Minnesota’s 7th
The Knott’s visiting from Walnut Grove