Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 3/22

Mar 22, 2013 Issues: Financial Services

National Ag Day Poster: April Fox

Photo courtesy Agriculture Council of America


Dear Friends,

This week we celebrated National Agriculture Day, and on Wednesday the Agriculture Committee met to consider legislation dealing with financial regulation.  Throughout the week I met with a number of students and folks working in agriculture from corn to sunflowers to bees.  With spring weather approaching, this newsletter will provide some helpful resources for evaluating your flood insurance coverage.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Agriculture Committee Hearing

The Agriculture Committee on Wednesday held a business meeting to consider several bills that would amend Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Last week the Committee heard testimony from CFTC Chairman Gensler which reaffirmed my view that the Commission is on the right track and that it is premature to consider these bills until we know the final rules.

I spoke out against H.R. 992, the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, urging my colleagues to vote against the bill. The bill would gut a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act requiring banks to spin off swap activity that is not directly related to their banking business. Without this provision I fear that we could find ourselves in a situation where taxpayers would again be on the hook for bailing banks out of a mess they made themselves.

Click here to watch my remarks in the Agriculture Committee business meeting about financial regulation

Flood Insurance

Spring weather often brings an increase in the risk of flooding. Flood insurance can help you recover from spring flooding, which can be caused by heavy rains, rapid snowmelt, and ice jams. It is best to get the facts, know the risks, and take action to prepare before a severe weather strikes. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period on new flood insurance policies, so the time to act is now. 

To learn more, visit

National Ag Day

On March 19th we recognized the contributions of agriculture as we celebrated National Agriculture Day.  Agriculture plays an essential role in our nation's economy, and we rely on our nation's farmers for a safe food supply and affordable fiber products.  American agriculture continues to improve and innovate, and currently each American farmer feeds more than 144 people.  2013 marks the 40th year that we've been honoring National Agriculture Day, and I look forward to continued success in agriculture as we work on passing a five year farm bill in Congress.

Minnesota Corn Growers Association

David Cleavinger (Texas Wheat), Steve Yoder (Texas Corn), Doug Albin (MCGA, CLARKFIELD), John Mages (MCGA, BELGRADE), Noah Hultgren (MCGA, RAYMOND), Greg Schwarz (MCGA, Le Sueur), DeVonna Zeug (MCGA, WALNUT GROVE), Anna Bellin (MCGA, St. Paul), Jeff Nunley (South Texas Cotton Growers)

I met with members of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA), as well as a few Texans, to talk about the Farm Bill.  Founded in 1978, MCGA has served the farming community of Minnesota for more than 30 years.  Together with the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, the MCGA has worked to fund valuable research projects, investigate new uses for corn and support the development of rural leaders through programs such as the Minnesota Agriculture Rural Leadership program (MARL).

Reed Anfinson

Mr. Reed Anfinson has co-chaired the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s legislative committee and chaired the National Newspaper Association Government Relations Committee. In 2012 Anfinson became President of the National Newspaper Association.  For more than 30 years he has been associated with the Swift County Monitor-News as a reporter, managing editor, and now publisher and owner.  We discussed the current plan for USPS’s ending of 6 day delivery and it’s effects on rural newspapers dissemination of news. Both Reed and I are committed to defending rural Minnesota and America.

National Sunflower Association

I met with Kevin Capistran (CROOKSTON), President, and other members of the National Sunflower Association to talk about crop insurance, research, and other issues important to the sunflower industry.  The National Sunflower Association is a farmer and industry organization working to improve the profitability of sunflower for all sectors.  The board of directors is comprised of farmers and industry members representing the major U.S. sunflower production regions.

U.S. Canola

Jay Bjerke (Fargo), Rob Rynning (KENNEDY), Beth Nelson (St. Paul), Neil Juhnke (Fargo)

I met with members of U.S. Canola to talk about the status of the Farm Bill and the importance of research programs.  There is growing demand for U.S. canola oil, which boasts the lowest saturated fat level of all common cooking oils.  U.S. canola oil consumption more than doubled from 2005 to 2012.  Minnesota and North Dakota produce the majority of U.S. canola.  

Steve Ellis

I met with Steve Ellis, a commercial beekeeper from Grant County who maintains 2,000 bee hives from Minnesota to California.  We discussed current issues important to beekeepers including farm bill disaster assistance.  Bees play such an important role in not only our natural environment but especially agriculture production.

U of M Alumni Association

On Monday I was honored by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association for my efforts as Dean of the Minnesota Delegation.  I spoke with Tim Paulson (PIPESTONE, pictured top) and a number of current students and alumni about the strong tradition we have in the 7th District of great institutions like the University of Minnesota.  The 7th is home to two U of M campuses, one in Crookston and one in Morris.

GPO Launches New Bookstore Website

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has launched an upgraded version of their online bookstore. GPO is the Federal Government's official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government.  In the 1920s, GPO started making Government publications available for sale with a retail bookstore and later established an online presence for selling publications in 1999. Today, GPO has approximately four thousand Federal titles and more than 150 eBooks available through the agency's online bookstore. The new website includes:

  • Improved search capabilities and usability
  • Option to browse for products by topic or by Government agency
  • Enhanced product detail page that includes product image and description, suggested related items, reviews, author information and links to other available formats
  • Option to sort products alphabetically, by date of publication, popularity, or price

You can visit GPO's new bookstore website at

GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through their Federal Digital System (, partnerships with approximately 1,200 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program, and their secure online bookstore.  If you're visiting DC, you may want to stop by GPO's retail bookstore located at 710 North Capitol Street NW.

This Week in American History

First Lady Betty Ford at her desk with an Equal Rights Amendment doormat

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) which was approved by Congress and sent to the states for ratification on March 22nd, 1972. After decades of suffrage movements and rallies, the goal of this constitutional amendment was to guarantee equality under the law for men and women. Within one year, the Minnesota state legislature successfully ratified the Equal Rights Amendment.

Click here to view Minnesota’s resolution to ratify the ERA

Constituents Visit DC

Luke Lisell, Dwight Lisell, Rebecca Lisell (ROSEAU), Susan DeCerce, Kristi Wells-Saiger, Dave Saiger, Emma Stimpfl and Sonia Stimpfl (BEMIDJI)

Pictured above are some folks from the 7th District and their family members taking a tour this week of the U.S. Capitol.  The tram in the photo runs between the Rayburn House Office Building and the U.S. Capitol.