Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 3/21/2014

Marshall Sunday vs. Tuesday

Dear Friends,

While the 2014 Farm Bill has been signed into law, there is still work to do, and I intend to make sure that USDA implements the bill correctly. This week, I spoke with corn growers in Chippewa County and farmers at the All Ag Celebration in Renville County about how the farm bill will affect their industry. I also visited Northland College to meet with innovators who are making advancements in agriculture technology.  I had a productive discussion with Bemidji airport commission members on the progress of their expansions and sat down with Litchfield’s First District Board. In military news, Veterans who are service-connected have two important updates which can be found below. 



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

2014 Congressional Art Competition

My office is currently accepting entries for this year’s congressional art competition. Click here for more information on how to apply.  Deadline for submission is Tuesday, April 29th.

Home Builders Ass’n of Fargo-Moorhead

John Gunkelman, Toby Christensen, Carlita Dietz, Jason Eid, Ken Krajsa, Clay Dietrich, Stan Birky, Paul Krabbenhoft, and Bryce Johnson

On Monday I had the pleasure of meeting with representatives of the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead (HBAFM) to discuss their 2014 legislative priorities and talk about the local housing market.  The HBAFM is a non-profit trade association of 800 members from the Fargo-Moorhead area and has been in existence since 1956. 

Highway 23

Jason (WILLMAR) and Harris Duininck (SPICER)

On Monday I flew to Willmar to meet with Harris and Jason Duininck to discuss the efforts to complete the expansion of Highway 23 from two to four lanes. Following my visit, I spoke with District 8 Highway Engineer Jon Huseby to express the community’s concerns and the need to move the highway project forward.

All Ag Celebration

Kevin Kramer, Paul Simsonson, and All Ag event chair Pat Halbe

Passing the farm bill was the first step. The second step is Congressional oversight, which is very important because the bill needs to be implemented as Congress intended.  I told all the farmers and participants at this year’s All Ag Celebration in Bird Island, located in Renville County, that I will be working closely with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to make sure the programs written in the farm bill are carried out as planned.


Photo courtesy of Debra Fitzgerald, Pipestone County Star
Acting Pipestone Mayor Myron Koets, Executive Director of the Pipestone Chamber of Commerce Mick Myers, Pipestone Cuty Administrator Jeff Jones, and Carmen Christensen of KLOH radio

On Wednesday morning I met with Pipestone city leaders to discuss highway and airport funding, economic development, wind energy, the Water Resources Development Act, and the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System.

Chippewa County Corn Growers

After the Pipestone meeting, I spoke to the Chippewa County Corn Growers in Montevideo. Farmers were interested about the new Commodity Title options and the differences between the Price Loss Coverage and the Agricultural Risk Coverage programs.

Co-op Credit Union of Montevideo

President and General Manager Linda Givan

President of Montevideo’s Co-op Credit Union Linda Givan and I met to discuss pending regulations that require high capitalization. This is a particular concern for farmers because these regulations could limit credit union’s abilities to serve agriculture customers.

Northland Community and Tech College

Jim Retka, Sheila Bruhn, and John Beck

On Thursday afternoon I met on the airport campus of the Northland Community and Technical College to talk about their unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) training programs and the future of unmanned systems in agriculture. 

Military Matters

Expediting Disability Benefits for Veterans

When our servicemen and women return home, our service to them begins. Every Veteran deserves access to quality care and assistance. That is why I am happy to announce that as of March 17, 2014, veterans who have a VA compensation rating of 100% permanent and total (P&T) are eligible for expedited processing of applications for Social Security disability benefits. To receive expedited processing, you must identify yourself as a Veteran rated 100% P&T when applying for Social Security disability benefits and provide your VA Notification letter which verifies you are P&T.

To learn more, click here or call the toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213.

Specially Adaptive House Grant Eligibility Change

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that veterans and active-duty military with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, are now medically eligible for grants up to $67,555 to adapt their homes. This change will let Servicemembers adapt their homes to match their unique needs. Caring for our Veterans and active-duty soldiers should always be our top priority, so it is good to see the VA make positive steps like this.

For more information on how to apply to adapted housing grants click here.

This Week in American History

West Point Coat of Arms

On March 16th, 1802, Congress founded the United States’ first Military Academy for the purpose of training young men in military science. The site of the new academy was West Point, New York. Today, it is simply known as West Point. When the threat of another war with Great Britain started to grow, which became the War of 1812, Congress expanded the military academy’s capabilities. During the Civil War, former West Point graduates fought against one another to defend their native states. Today, the academy is under the supervision of the U.S. Army and has an enrollment of more than 4,600 students.

Application to become nominated to a military academy.

Constituents from the 7th

Les Ruiter (LAKE WILSON), Kathy Mitchell (Rushmore), Lynette, David, Dakota, Lexi, Jordan, and Jack Ludowese (HUTCHINSON), Kelly and Brian Pfarr (LAMBERTON), Ben Schmidt (St. Cloud), Jeff, Jenni, and Norma Schmidt (REDWOOD FALLS). 

Zach Hochhalter (BARNESVILLE), Jack, Cathy, and Alex Roberston (EAST GRAND FORKS).

“Spotlight Dragon”
Andrew Matelski (WARREN)
2013 Congressional Art Competition