Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 5/3

May 3, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs

In memory of Al Loehr

Staff Member for Rep. Peterson since 1991
Many remember Loehr for work with veterans, seniors
Loehr remembered for passions


Dear Friends,

Last week, we lost a true friend and veterans advocate in former St. Cloud Mayor Al Loehr.  I had the privilege of knowing Al for many years, and was honored to have him advise me on veterans' issues during all the years I have served in Congress.  He worked closely with Kelly Ferber to handle veterans' issues in the 7th, Al in the South and Kelly in the North.  Al was one of a kind, and made a lasting impact on his community and all those he worked with.  He will be missed.

This week I worked in coordination with a few of my colleagues to introduce two important pieces of legislation in the House.  The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act will help us recruit and support the next generation of farmers, and supporting their efforts is a win-win for our country.  The Cormorant Management and Natural Resources Protection Act will help us get the problem of overpopulated and destructive cormorant populations in the 7th District under control.  In addition, I joined members of the Minnesota Delegation in encouraging the President to invite the University of Minnesota Women's Hockey team to visit the White House in honor of their outstanding season.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson

Minnesota 7th District

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act

On April 25 I joined Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Al Franken (D-MN) & Reps. Tim Walz (D-MN), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) to introduce the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.  Our bipartisan, bicameral legislation is aimed at recruiting and supporting the next generation of American farmers.

I’m hearing of more and more people all across America who want to farm or start careers in agriculture. Supporting beginning farmers and ranchers is a win-win for rural America and the entire country.

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act will invest in the next generation of American producers by:

  • Enabling access to land, credit, and crop insurance for new producers.
  • Assisting new producers to launch and strengthen new farm and value-added businesses.
  • Helping new producers become good stewards of the land.
  • Providing training, mentoring, and research that beginning farmers and ranchers need to be successful.
  • Conducting outreach on agricultural job opportunities for military veterans.

Minnesota Delegation Urges President to Invite U of M Women's Champion Hockey Team to White House

I joined the Minnesota Delegation in urging the President to invite the University of Minnesota Women’s Hockey team to the White House in honor of their perfect season.  The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team surpassed all expectations, capturing their second consecutive championship title and shattering previous records as the first team in NCAA women’s hockey to finish with a perfect record.  This would be a fitting event to conclude an outstanding season by the student athletes and the team’s coaches and staff.

Bipartisan Cormorant Management Legislation

This week I introduced the Cormorant Management and Natural Resources Protection Act in coordination with Rep. Bachmann.  This bipartisan legislation will help cut through the bureaucratic red tape that prevents states from managing destructive double-crested cormorants in an effective, timely, and site-specific fashion.

Cormorant populations continue to pose problems throughout the 7th District.  That is why I have sponsored or co-sponsored legislation to help manage excessive cormorant populations since my first term in office in 1991, and have been trying for years to work with people on both sides of the issue to come up with a management solution that will solve this problem.

Currently, the cormorant is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which requires a lengthy permit process through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in consultation with the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Service and often the respective state’s Department of Natural Resources, in order for the birds to be removed from private land. The Cormorant Management and Natural Resources Protection Act would empower the states to better manage overpopulation of these birds by delegating the authority to do so to those governors who submit treaty-compliant management plans to the Secretary of the Interior.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Deadline Approaching

I would like 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.

To learn more about applying, visit my website or call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.

This Week in American History

On April 30, 1789, George Washington gave the nation’s first presidential inaugural address on Wall Street in New York City. Just a few months earlier, Washington was officially informed by Congress that he had unanimously won all 69 presidential electors to become the first President of the United States. In the opening line of his speech he said, “No event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order.”  In celebration of his inaugural, thirteen rockets and thirteen cannons were fired to open and close the unprecedented ceremony. He was president for two full terms from 1789 to 1797, but refused a third term. Washington retired to his estate in Mt. Vernon, Virginia where he died just two years later. 

Constituents Visit DC

Daniel and Jacob Klug (EAST GRAND FORKS), Merle Nelson (KENNEDY)

Picture was taken out on the balcony in front of the U.S. Capitol and just outside the office of the Speaker of the House, commonly referred to as the "Speaker's Balcony."