Rep. Peterson's Newsletter and Questionnaire 7/13/2020
My staff aide Bob Ness in a local field
“If corn is knee high by the 4th of July…”
On my weekly call with Minnesota Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen and other ag community stakeholders, we discussed progress being made in livestock processing which is close to being back to normal in Minnesota after months of complications due to COVID-19. I sent a bipartisan letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging for the reconsideration of a recent order that may impair the Global Positioning System (GPS). Reliable GPS signals are critical for efficient farming and ranching with precision ag technology. As a member of the 4-H Caucus, I led a bipartisan group of colleagues in a letter to House leadership requesting their support for 4-H and other youth development organizations in future pandemic relief legislation. These organizations have been put in a tough spot during the pandemic, and they need to be supported so that America’s youth can continue to benefit from the mentorship they provide.
Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District
Congressional Art Competition People’s Choice Winner
Chickadee by Lauren Ammermann (RENVILLE)
Lauren Ammermann of RENVILLE has been named the winner the People’s Choice Award for the Congressional Art Competition in the 7th District. Her winning artwork is an acrylic painting titled “Chickadee.” Over 400 folks took the time to view and vote for their favorite of the 10 finalists on my Facebook page. Congratulations to Lauren for winning the 7th District’s People’s Choice Award!
Minnesota Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources Work to Streamline Haying and Grazing
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that they are working to streamline the process of approving haying and grazing on state-owned land. Many livestock farmers have had to feed animals longer than expected due to meat processing disruptions that have occurred over the last few months. As a result, some producers are running out of feed. I am happy to see these state agencies take steps to speed up this process that will give some producers another option for haying and grazing.
4-H Caucus Advocates for Youth Development Organizations
Newspaper clipping from my time in 4-H
I joined fellow Congressional 4-H Caucus Co-Chairs Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) to lead a letter to House leadership requesting support for 4-H and other youth development organizations in future pandemic relief legislation. The letter, signed by 37 Members of Congress, urges the inclusion of funding for USDA Youth Development Grants and Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Youth Mentoring Grants that are given to state, local and tribal organizations for mentoring programs for vulnerable youth.
Urging the FCC to Prevent Ag Tech Interference
I sent a bipartisan letter with Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and James Comer (R-KY) to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai questioning the Commission’s April 20th order granting Ligado’s application to deploy a terrestrial nationwide network of 5G services, which could impair the vital Global Positioning System (GPS). Despite concerns raised by numerous federal agencies, the FCC decision threatens the reliability of GPS for millions of Americans.
Reliable GPS signals are what enable farmers and ranchers to make full use of the precision agriculture technologies that help them be more efficient and implement conservation practices for good soil and water health. GPS is also a critical safety feature for the aviation industry and as a pilot, any interference to its reliability is of grave concern. The decision by the FCC risks serious disruptions to GPS signals that American rely on every day.
Last week, I asked you to think about the American patriots who continue to serve in the military fighting to keep our country safe. Here’s what you said:
How closely have you followed the news reports about Russian intelligence officers putting a bounty on the heads of U.S. and allied service members in Afghanistan?
Of the most recent Administrations, which do you believe would competently protect members of the military against a bounty scheme from Russia? Select all that apply.
Of the most recent Administrations, which do you think would be the STRONGEST in handling this situation to keep our service members safe?
MN National Guard Congressional Breakfast Briefing
Left: Lt. Col. Brian Winter receiving the Distinguished Service Award
Right: Diana Buszta receiving the Superior Civilian Service Award
My Military and Veterans outreach staff aide, Meg Louwagie, attended the Congressional Staff Breakfast briefing with the Minnesota National Guard (MNNG). The briefing included topics on MNNG Sexual Assault Board Findings, Domestic Operations Role-up, MNNG COVID-19 Operations, Post Deployment Respite Mobilization Absence & Mobilization Update, as well as current Legislative Priorities. During the briefing Lt. Col. Brian Winter was recognized for the MN Distinguished Service Award and Diana Buszta for her Superior Civilian Service Award. Congratulations Lt. Col. Winter and Ms. Buszta for your well-earned awards.
Stepping Up in the 7th
JBS Pipestone Donates Pork to Local Organizations
JBS Pipestone has donated more than 2,000 pounds of pork product to local community organizations. While many people are out of work and otherwise facing difficult times during the pandemic, it is reassuring to see companies like JBS support their local communities.
Donation recipients include Good Sam, Falls Landing, Edgebrook, Pipestone School District, Edgerton School District, Pipestone County Daycares, Pipestone Para, American Reformed Church, Pipestone Food Shelf, Edgerton Food Shelf, New Life Treatment Center, and Pipestone County Medical Center.
The State of Minnesota has launched a new website staysafe.mn.gov for all guidance created by state agencies to help businesses, organizations, and individuals stay safe while Minnesota continues to open.
Other updates can be found at the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 dashboard at mn.gov/covid19. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is providing additional updates and Material and Resources for COVID-19 response. To get tested, talk to a doctor, local clinic, or Find Testing Locations near you.
Additional information can be found on my website at collinpeterson.house.gov/covid-19-resources.
Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program
Small businesses in the 7th District that have been hard hit by COVID-19 can still apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is again accepting PPP applications and more than $130 billion in funding remains. Nonprofits and faith-based organizations, sole proprietors, independent contractors and those who are self-employed are all eligible. The new deadline to apply is Aug. 8, 2020. Find a MN PPP lender to start the application process.
Economic Impact Payments
The Economic Impact Payments (EIP), also referred to as stimulus checks or individual rebates, are a major piece of the CARES Act.
For additional information, callthe IRS EIP phone number at 1-800-919-9835 to find information to frequently asked questions and have the option to speak with a representative. You can also visit the IRS’s Economic Impact Payment Information Center page.
This Week in History
On July 12th, 1869, Norwegian newspaperman Paul Hjelm-Hansen left Alexandria to travel to the Red River by oxcart. Hjelm-Hansen had been hired by the State Board of Immigration to publicize the advantages of moving to Western Minnesota. His letters, published in a number of Norwegian newspapers, encourage many emigrants to move there.