Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 4/12

Apr 12, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs

My Willmar office in the early stages of the storm

Dear Friends,

While we celebrated the first day of spring in this calendar year nearly a month ago, Minnesota weather is anything but conventional.  This week harsh winter weather hit the 7th leading to power outages, rough road conditions, and school cancellations.  On Wednesday the Minnesota Delegation gathered for some home cooked hotdish in a friendly contest for the 3rd Annual Minnesota Hotdish Competition.  Minnesota 4-H was also in town for their annual conference and it was good to meet with these young students who will be the future of American agriculture.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Snow Storm Strikes the 7th

Photos courtesy of Murray County News / Sheila Crowley (top and bottom left) and Sean Solheim (bottom right)

Springtime snow storms affected much of Minnesota, including many folks throughout the 7th District, this week. My thoughts are with those that were impacted by this extreme weather. The pictures above show some of the damage in Murray County.

Minnesota Delegation Hotdish Competition

On Wednesday I joined Minnesotans in the Senate and House in a friendly cook-off for the 3rd Annual Minnesota Delegation Hotdish Competition.  First place went to Rep. Walz but my hotdish finished in a close second.

Click here to view all the recipes for the 2013 Minnesota Delegation Hotdish Competition

National 4-H Conference

Logan Johnson (WHEATON), Laura Meany (Rose Creek)), Julia Holen (FERGUS FALLS), and Celena Hulst (ROSEAU)

Participants of National 4-H Conference came to Capitol Hill to present a briefing entitled "The Importance of Agriculture."  The National 4-H Conference is a professional and leadership development event for 4-H members (ages 15-19) who are actively engaged in 4-H programs.  The conference is administered by 4-H National Headquarters of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  It was good to visit with the conference participants from Minnesota (pictured above).

Students from Halstad and New York Mills Visit DC

Performance for North American Agriculture Journalists

I met with members of the North American Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ) Tuesday morning to discuss the current status of the farm bill, which I hope the Committee will be able to consider in May. The previous evening, my band The Second Amendments provided live music following NAAJ’s dinner, dance and awards banquet.

Pheasants Forever

Marty Wallin (PIPESTONE), Jeremy Berg (New Ulm), and Chad Bloom (Mayer)

I met with members of Pheasants Forever, including several Minnesota folks, to talk about the Farm Bill and the importance of conservation.  Pheasants Forever is an organization dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.

Congressional Pilots Caucus

Coley George (VP of Government and Industry Affairs for the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots), Kevin Henry (Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association), and Paul Jackson (pilot for Southwest Airlines from Minnesota)

As co-chair of the Congressional Pilots Caucus and a pilot myself, it is always good to hear from fellow aviators.   I met with a number of leaders in the airline industry to talk about issues important to their businesses and employees.

Notice: Filing Deadline Approaching for Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans

I want to remind small businesses, small agriculture cooperatives and private non-profit organizations that May 13 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans that are available as a result of the drought that began on July 17, 2012.

This disaster declaration includes the following counties in the 7th District: Becker, Beltrami, Clay, Clearwater,  Cottonwood, Kittson, Lake of the Woods,  Lincoln, Lyon,  Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pipestone, Polk, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Roseau, and Wilkin.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster.  With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.  Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at  Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to  Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155

This Week in American History

Robert E. Lee (right) and the Confederate Army surrendering to Union General Ulysses S. Grant (left)

This week we honor the anniversary of the bloodiest battle on American soil - the Civil War.  On April 9, 1865, the Confederate Army had no choice but to surrender to Union troops when their forces became severely fractured. This week also marks the beginning of the Civil War, which began almost exactly four years earlier on April 12, 1861.  Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Union General Ulysses S. Grant were familiar with each other from their fighting experience in the Mexican War just twenty years prior. On the day of Confederate surrender, Lee and Grant met at 1:00 P.M. in a parlor in downtown Appomattox, Virginia. After the formal surrender was complete, General Grant told his officers, “The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again.”

Constituents Visit DC

Shelley Hedlund (WILLMAR) and Patrice Hedlund (St. Cloud)

Pictured while on tour next to the Ulysses S. Grant statue in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol

Doug and Char Grant (MOORHEAD), Bohner Family (LAKE PARK), Hendrickson Family

Pictured inside the Capitol Visitor Center while on tour