Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 7/13/2018

Granite Falls – Yellow Medicine County

Dear Friends,

This week, I met with folks representing different sectors of the agriculture industry. Our meetings focused on trade, livestock disease prevention and the upcoming farm bill conference committee. The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame hosted its annual reception on Capitol Hill this Thursday. My band, “the Second Amendments,” provided live music for the event. We were joined by many Members of Congress who took the chance to join in for a song or two.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Legislative Update

Medicare Cost Plans

This week, Congressman Walz (MN-01) and I introduced the Protect Medicare for Seniors Act of 2018 to allow Medicare Cost Plan beneficiaries to remain on their plans for another two years. As the country transitions into a Medicare Advantage market, I believe that Minnesotans who currently enjoy the benefits and flexibility of cost plans should have more time to select comparable plans which match their healthcare needs.

Agriculture Industry Meetings

(Top) Minnesota Soybean Association and American Soybean Association
(Left) Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap (Right) Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

I met with representatives of the Minnesota Farm Bureau, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, the American and Minnesota Soybean Associations, and Compeer Financial this week to discuss issues important to the agriculture industry. Each group expressed concern with the current trade situation. The Administration’s tariffs and the retaliation from our trading partners has created a lot of uncertainty for folks across the nation. The American Soybean Association is concerned they are losing their export markets as the trade war with China continues to escalate.

Compeer Financial Board of Directors

During the meetings, we discussed the outlook for the farm bill conference committee, potential changes to agricultural credit and lending programs, the importance of animal disease prevention programs for livestock producers in Minnesota. I have heard more from producers about the negative impacts of the tariffs than I have heard about the farm bill. I have sent letters, made phone calls, and in short, done everything I can do to raise concerns with the Trump Administration as to the negative impacts of the escalating trade war to farmers and consumers in my district. I will continue to monitor developments and do what I can to bring about a positive resolution for farmers.

Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame

Every year, the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Congressional Rock Caucus come together to display memorabilia from music legends and play music in the Agriculture Committee room. This year, my band the Second Amendments played songs from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, The Eagles, and more.

My band has always been bipartisan, and several Congressional Members played along with us including Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN), Reps. Darren Soto (D-FL), John Duncan (R-TN), Al Lawson (D-FL), Brian Higgins (D-NY), House Chaplain Patrick Conroy, and others.

Ben Anderson

My staff aide Rebekah Solem met with Ben Anderson of Underwood, who serves as the regional director for the University of Minnesota Extension in Moorhead. Ben was in Washington to participate in the National Extension Leadership Development program. The participants were focused on the leadership competencies of communicating effectively, thinking critically, and creating a culture of innovation. Ben previously worked in Washington with ties to Minnesota and agriculture, so it was good to see him back for a visit. I wish him all the best as he continues to hone his leadership skills and do good work for the University of Minnesota Extension.

Flood Loan Deadline Approaching

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations that Aug. 13 is the filing deadline for Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans in Minnesota as a result of excessive moisture and flooding from Aug.1 through Oct. 31, 2017.

This disaster declaration includes the following counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and Saint Louis in Minnesota.

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. 

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. 

Northwest Regional Development Commission

The Northwest Regional Development Commission worked its way through several business items at their meeting this week, including economic development, housing, transportation and an update on the severe weather and damage that hit northern Minnesota last week. The Commission discussed senior and aging programs that provide in home support, preventive health care, respite care, and conjugate and home delivered meals for senior citizens. I will continue to work to ensure these programs receive adequate funding to provide local seniors the resources they need to maintain their quality of life.

Farmer’s Share Supper

Opening night at the Kittson County Fair brought folks together for the Farmer’s Share Dinner. The dinner of beef, potatoes, sweet corn, bread and cookies was only 75 cents. That is what the farmers receive for their products. It was a great demonstration of how little farmers receive for their products. I appreciate the hard work farmers do to produce food, and understand the need to maintain a fair price for the goods they produce.

This Week in American History

On July 13, 1977, the city of Kinney, in St. Louis County, seceded from the United States. The city council, frustrated by unsuccessful attempts to obtain a grant from the federal government for a water project, decided to secede and apply for foreign aid because "there is less paperwork." Passports were issued by sympathizers in New Haven, Connecticut. Although the United States did not recognize Kinney as a foreign country, Duluth's frozen food king Jeno Pauluccii did, giving Kinney a used Ford to replace the city police car (which no longer ran) and ten cases of frozen pizza for good measure.

What’s the Story?

I have always enjoyed making music. During my time in Congress I formed a band called The Second Amendments. The name of the group is a variation on the name of my earlier band titled The Amendments. The Second Amendments have always been a bipartisan group, originally consisting of Members of Congress from each political party. We performed around the country, for other Members at receptions in Washington, D.C. and for American servicemembers during a USO tour to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Pakistan and Germany.

“Mountain Scene”
Nicole Scott
Fergus Falls