Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 2/28/2014

Dear Friends,

Congress is back in session this week and I was honored to meet with barley growers, potato farmers, and sugarbeet growers from Minnesota who traveled to Washington, D.C. I joined Minnesota Senators Klobuchar and Franken, North Dakota Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp, and Moorhead/Fargo local elected officials for a meeting about the Fargo Moorhead Diversion project. Access to public television is important for rural Minnesotans, and I met with Prairie Public Television to talk about increasing accessibility. I also met with Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller about the implementation of the Farm Bill. The CEO of 4-H came by to talk about the active youth organization, and the Peace Corps is celebrating its 53rd Anniversary.

Sincerely,

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Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

2014 Congressional Art Competition

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The 2014 Congressional Art Competition is under way and I am currently accepting artwork from High School students from the 7th District. See my website for further details on the guidelines and rules. To submit artwork for consideration, applicants should send an email to Congressional.Art@mail.house.gov with a digital photograph of the student's artwork attached no later than Tuesday, April 29th, 2014.

Barley Association

Mike Stevens (Spiritwood), Doyle Lentz (Rolla), Marv Zutz (RED LAKE FALLS), Greg Kessel (Belfield), Pete Friederichs (FOXHOME), Charles Ottem, (Osnabrok), John Zietz (Pocatello, ID), and Steve Edwardson (Fargo)

Members of the National Barley Growers Association (NBGA) visited with me about farm safety net provisions in the Farm Bill, as well as other issues that impact their producers. NBGA is an advocacy organization formed in 1989 that promotes the interests of producers in six major barley-producing states: Minnesota, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington.

Potato Council

I spoke with members of the National Potato Council Tuesday, during their Washington, D.C. fly-in. The 2014 Farm Bill, immigration, trade agreements and regulatory issues were all topics of discussion.

Water Diversion

Senators Klobuchar, Heitkamp, Hoeven, and Franken

Senator Heitkamp hosted a meeting with the representatives of the Red River Valley to discuss the Fargo Moorhead Diversion project. In attendance from Minnesota were Senators Klobuchar and Franken, Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams, and Moorhead City Administrator Mike Redlinger. North Dakota was represented by Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp, Congressman Cramer, Mayor Mahoney, Fargo City Administrator Pat Zavoral, Cass County Administrator Keith Berndt and Cass County Commissioner Darrell Vanyo. 

During the meeting we discussed the stalled Water Resources Development Act, FEMA flood insurance problems, and other water-related concerns. I think everyone left the meeting understanding the hurdles this project must overcome in order to move forward.

Prairie Public

Chair Deb Mathern and President and CEO John Harris

On Tuesday I met with Prairie Public and we spoke about the importance of public television reaching rural Minnesotans. Public television and radio programming are highly educational and benefit rural areas with few other media options.

4-H

4-H President and CEO Jennifer Sirangelo

I met the new National 4-H Council President and Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Sirangelo. On January 1st, 2014, she became the first woman to hold this position. Ms. Sirangelo leads the organization in its mission to increase investment and participation in 4-H, one of the largest learn-by-doing youth development programs in the world. Minnesotans are extremely active in 4-H: last year there were over 65,000 Minnesota youth participants.

Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers

I sat down with members of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association (RRVSGA) to discuss the sugar program. When the group first formed in 1926, it represented growers who grew for the old American Sugar Beet Sugar Company. This later became the American Crystal Sugar Company. RRVSGA members purchased American Crystal and formed a cooperative in 1973. Today, the RRVSGA represents about 2,650 sugarbeet growers.    

Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS Chief Jason Weller

Now that the Farm Bill passed the legislative hurdle, it has now moved to the execution stage. On Thursday I sat down with NRCS Chief Jason Weller to talk about the implementation of the conservation title in the Farm Bill. Chief Weller oversees the Natural Resources Conservation Service and earned his undergraduate degree from Carleton College in Northfield.

Peace Corps Week

Since its inception in 1961, more than 215,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps in 139 countries around the world. February 23rd to March 1st is Peace Corps Week. The organization is an enduring symbol of our nation’s commitment to encouraging progress and expanding opportunity in the developing world. Volunteers have made significant and lasting contributions around the world in agriculture, business development, information technology, education, health, and the environment.

There are currently sixteen volunteers serving in the Peace Corps from the 7th District of Minnesota.

This Week in American History

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On February 28th, 1866, Beltrami County was formed. The name honors the Italian adventurer Giacomo C. Beltrami, who had explored the region in 1823. Beltrami County has over 116,000 acres of lakes and 459,000 acres of state forest lands.


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Madeline Treuer (BEMIDJI)
2013 Congressional Art Competition