Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 6/26/2015

Jun 26, 2015 Issues: Congressional Issues, Economy and Jobs

“Grandpa’s Barn,” Rebekah Nelson (PRINSBURG)
Winner, 2015 Congressional Art Competition

Dear Friends,

For more than 60 years, the United States has been the leader in international food-based assistance. The House Agriculture Committee began a review of food aid programs this week, hearing testimony about the 2014 Farm Bill’s improvements to U.S. food aid programs, including increased quality, funding, and flexibility. Members of Case New Holland and Ag Processing, Inc. visited my office to discuss their services to the rural economy, and I welcomed Minnesota 4-H members and our district’s winner of the 2015 Congressional Art Competition to Washington.       


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

CNH Industrial

Dana Coultas (Plant Manager, Fargo), Jason Hausauer (Plant Manager, BENSON), Erik Olson (Former Plant Manager, Fargo)

Employees of CNH Industrial visited my office on Wednesday. We discussed tax reform, trade, highway funding and ethanol. I also received an update on the two local plants in Benson and Fargo. Combined, the plants employ roughly 1,000 people. The Benson plant, which underwent major renovations in the past few years, is the home of the Case IH cotton pickers, sprayers and floaters. At the Fargo plant, approximately 700 employees help design and manufacture high horsepower, four-wheel-drive agricultural tractors and wheel loaders.

Ag Processing, Inc.

Keith Spackler (CEO) and Matt Caswell (Vice President, Government Affairs)

I met with Ag Processing, Inc. (AGP) CEO Keith Spackler and Vice President of Government Affairs Matt Caswell on Tuesday to talk about their cooperatively-owned agribusiness. AGP is the largest cooperative soybean processing company in the world, and we discussed issues related to soybean and biodiesel trade during the meeting. Growing businesses like AGP that serve agricultural producers are important to maintaining a vibrant agriculture economy.

4-H Citizenship Washington Focus

On Wednesday, I met with a group of Minnesota 4-Hers who were attending the National 4-H Council’s Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF).  As a former 4-H member, I know firsthand what a great program this is – giving students more confidence, teaching new skills and building young leaders. Citizenship Washington Focus is an opportunity for 4-Hers to see Washington while strengthening their communication and leadership skills.  I was happy to be a part of their “Capitol Hill Day” and talk to them a bit about the legislative process and my work on the Agriculture Committee. It’s good to see so many of our young leaders out here participating and representing Minnesota!     

2015 Congressional Art Competition

Rebekah, Tricia, and Brad Nelson (PRINSBURG)

I welcomed Rebekah Nelson and her family to Washington, D.C. this week to celebrate her winning entry in the 2015 Congressional Art Competition. Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nation-wide high school competition to highlight the creative talent in each of the 435 Congressional districts. Since 1982, the competition has received more than 650,000 visual art submissions. This year’s winning entry from the 7th District, Rebekah’s “Grandpa’s Barn,” is now displayed in the tunnel connecting the Cannon House Office Building to the Capitol.

Chairman Lucas Portrait Unveiling

I was pleased to honor my colleague, Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., at an event Tuesday unveiling his official portrait. As a former Agriculture Committee Chairman, Lucas’s portrait will hang in the Agriculture Committee hearing room. Lucas and I worked hand in hand on the 2014 Farm Bill and a video detailing that work was shown at the event.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

On Tuesday, my staff aide Natalie Winters met with members of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Education and research are the two most important tools as we combat the prevalence of suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. We need to do more to make mental health a priority, which is why I have co-sponsored H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015. This legislation would eliminate restrictive Medicaid reimbursement rates for the mentally ill and make additional expansions of the mental health workforce and resources for care.

Legislative Update

Agriculture Committee Hearing on Food Aid

The Agriculture Committee met on Wednesday to begin the Committee’s review of international food aid programs. The 2014 Farm Bill continued our commitment to providing global food aid by making several improvements to U.S. food aid programs, which have delivered more than $80 billion in international aid since World War II.

Subcommittee Hearings

The Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition held a joint hearing Thursday morning with the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources to continue the Committee’s review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research met that afternoon to review USDA Marketing Programs.


Top State for Business

Minnesota is America’s “Top State for Business,” according to a recent CNBC report. Scoring 1,584 out of a possible 2,500 points, Minnesota ranks in the top half of all but two categories of competitiveness, including technology, infrastructure, quality of life, innovation, education, and access to capital. In particular, Minnesota is credited with cultivating one of the most skilled and qualified workforces in the nation.

Discovering the 7th

The city of Browns Valley, established in 1866 by Major Joseph R. Brown, conducted town affairs in a log cabin for more than 50 years. Sam Brown’s Cabin, named in honor of the founder’s son, still stands today as a museum recognizing the structure’s role as a trading post, stage line stop, tavern, inn, and post office.

This Week in American History

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, 1953

Bemidji native Jane Russell, one of Hollywood’s leading actresses in the 1940s and 1950s, added her signature and hand and foot prints to the forecourt of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater on June 26, 1953. In addition to acting, Jane Russell had an extensive catalogue of recorded music, and in 1955 founded the World Adoption International Fund.                                             

Visitors from the District

Rick and Ruth Bot (MINNEOTA), Rebecca and Stan Brewers (MARSHALL), Lee Simonsen (GHENT), Zachery and Tanya Duppong (LAKE BENTON), Kim and Rick Petersen (REDWOOD FALLS)

Kourtney Hammerschmidt (BLOMKEST)
2015 Congressional Art Competition