Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 7/12

Jul 12, 2013 Issues: Veterans


In Minnesota, summer brings county fairs
Pictured above: Roxanne Weisser, Robert Sauter, and Susan Ringstad (1967)
Photo courtesy Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County

Dear Friends,

Yesterday the House passed a partisan, incomplete farm bill that throws the future of farm and food policy in this nation into question. I believe the decision to split nutrition programs from the farm bill is a mistake and repealing permanent law all but ensures that we will never write a farm bill again.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Farm Bill

The House Majority’s decision to ignore the will of the more than 500 organizations with a stake in the farm bill, setting the stage for draconian cuts to nutrition programs and eliminating future farm bills altogether would be laughable if it weren’t true.

This was not the only option. Following the House failure to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan, five-year farm bill, I repeatedly expressed a willingness to work with the Majority on a path forward. I firmly believed that if we could find a way to remove the partisan amendments adopted during the House farm bill debate we would be able to advance a bipartisan bill, conference with the Senate and see it signed into law this year. Now all that is in question.

Click here to watch Peterson speak about this issue on the House Floor

Litchfield Marching Band

Litchfield Marching Band under the direction of Band Director, Dave Caesar, traveled to Washington to celebrate our Nation's Birthday. These talented young musicians were invited to  participate in popular Maryland parades in Annapolis and Takoma Park for their 124th Celebration where crowds numbered in the thousands.

Tribute to Arlan Stangeland

Last week we lost a true public servant to the Seventh District of Minnesota, the Honorable Arlan Stangeland. In his memory, I spoke on the House Floor about Arlan's admirable service to the 7th District.

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to announce to the House the loss of another of our former Members of the House of Representatives, the Honorable Arlan Stangeland, who served the Seventh District of Minnesota prior to me, from 1977 to 1990. He passed away last Tuesday in our district. He lived about 20 miles south of where I live. Before he came to Congress, he was in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Arlan served on the Agriculture Committee, and he served on the Transportation Committee. He rose to senior level on both of those committees, and he did a tireless job in working for the farmers and for the rural people in the Seventh District of Minnesota. Since 1990, he had been enjoying living in the lake country of Minnesota. He loved to play bridge and loved to spend time with his family, including his sons and daughters and grandchildren…Mr. Speaker, I ask the Members to rise for a moment of silence."

American Soybean Association

Ray Gaesser (First Vice President), Danny Murphy (President), Ron Bunjer (National Director), Steve Wellman (Chairman)

Automotive Service Association

The Automotive Service Association dropped by on Monday, and it was great to meet with their new Chairman, Darrell Amberson, a native Minnesotan from HENDERSON.

School Superintendents

Luther Heller (Superintendent, MONTEVIDEO School District #129), Dan Brooks (Superintendent, SAUK CENTRE School District #743), Curt Tryggestad (Superintendent, Eden Prairie School District #272), Mark Bezek (Superintendent, El River Area School District #728)

I met this week with a group of Superintendents,  including Dan Brooks and Luther Heller from the 7th, to discuss the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the gridlock in congress, and the work they are doing on the ground in Minnesota. It was good to have their insight on these educational issues.

MN Soybean Association

Cole Trebesch (Sleepy Eye), Brian Fruechte and Kim Fruechte (VERDI), Ron Bunjer (ARCO) Theresia Gillie (HALLOCK)  Lawrence Sukalski (Fairmont), George Goblisch (VESTA)  Paul Freeman (STARBUCK) and Bill Gordon (Worthington)

Dedication of Arvid Clementson Municipal Building

Last Friday I attended the unveiling ceremony for the Arvid Clementson Municipal Building. It was good to see so many Minnesotans come together and celebrate the life of Fosston's longest tenured Mayor. I joined Senators Roger Moe, LeRoy Stumpf, Rod Skoe and Rep. Deb Kiel in speaking about Arvid's legacy and vision for the city of Fosston. Also in attendance was Mayor Offerdahl, who read letters from Governor Mark Dayton, former Senator and Vice President Walter Mondale, and Rep. Bernie Lieder.

Clay County Fair Celebrates 100th anniversary in Barnesville

With events running from July 11th through July 14th, the Clay County Fair is celebrating its 100th Anniversary. The fair itself is on the southern edge of Clay County in Barnesville. Activities include livestock shows, tractor pulls, fireworks, carnival rides and a demolition derby, and more. As warm air finally returns to Minnesota again, counties throughout the state are celebrating with their annual fairs.

For a list of this year’s county fairs in Minnesota, click here. For contact and website information for the county fairs, click here.

Hector Celebrates 135 Years

The town of Hector was founded when Hastings and Dakota Railway Company built a railroad on its northern side in 1878. This week the town is celebrating its 135th anniversary since its foundation. Hector is located in Renville County, just twenty miles southwest of Hutchinson. The original townsfolk engaged in a heated debate on what to call their new town. Some preferred Plainfield, others argued for Hector. But many of the area’s earliest settlers came from a township called Hector, located near Seneca Lake, New York. So in the end, the locals came to a decision and named the town after the brave Trojan hero from Homer’s famous epic The Iliad. A parade down the main street in Hector will commemorate the town’s anniversary this weekend.

This Week in American History

On July 12, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a law that created the U.S. Army Medal of Honor, the branch’s most prestigious award. The award is given sparingly and only to soldiers who “most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action.” Since its creation during the Civil War, more than 3,400 men and one woman have received the award for their heroic deeds that went above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is hung from a light blue service ribbon with thirteen stars, and a bronze eagle with the word “VALOR” stretched under its feet is linked to the ribbon. Under the eagle is a gold, five-pointed star surrounded by a green wreath with Minerva’s head in its center, the Roman Goddess of Defense. Click here to see a list of Minnesotans who have received the Army’s Medal of Honor.

Constituent Visits DC

Marsha Ziegler (DETROIT LAKES). Photo was taken at the end of her tour inside the Capitol Visitor’s Office. I was happy to nominate Jesse Ziegler, Marsha’s son, to the Air Force Academy in 2003. Jesse went on to graduate from the Academy in 2007 and is currently stationed in Florida.