Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 7/17/2015

Photo Credit: Bemidji Pioneer

Dear Friends,

This week, I met with representatives of the corn and soybean industries to discuss upcoming trade, energy, and environmental policy. I was also honored to be presented with the Congressional Service Award from the National Turkey Federation. Lastly, the Agriculture Committee approved the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

National Turkey Federation

This week, I spoke to the National Turkey Federation Leadership Conference in Washington. More than 100 members from around the country came to Washington to visit with elected officials and federal agencies. I discussed current activities in the Agriculture Committee, and spent some time talking about the response to the avian influenza outbreak. I have been focused on making sure USDA’s response to the outbreak addresses the industry’s needs and ensures that the 7th District remains the top turkey-producing district in the country. I was also honored to be awarded the federation’s Congressional Service Award during the meeting.

Minnesota Corn Growers

A dozen farmers and corn advocates from around Minnesota came to my office on Thursday as part of their trip to the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress. We talked about changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard and the Waters of the United States rule. It was very helpful to hear their perspectives.

American Soybean Association

Steve Censky (CEO, American Soybean Association), Richard Wilkins (DE), Wade Cowan (TX), Ray Gaesser (IA)

Representatives from the American Soybean Association came by for a meeting on Thursday morning. Our discussions covered trade policy, GMO labeling, conservation programs, and upcoming legislation in both Minnesota and Washington.

Minnesota Special Education

Jill Skarvold (Moorhead Area Public Schools), John Klaber (Minnesota Administrators for Special Education), Mary Clarkson (Richfield Public Schools)

This week, I met with Minnesota education advocates to discuss the state of special education. We talked about special education funding, and the recent passage of the Student Success Act, which effectively reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It is my hope that we can continue to work together to secure needed funding for our children and create an effective environment that enables our schools to thrive and our youth to succeed.

Dan Glickman

On Wednesday, I met with former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. Glickman is currently working on global food security issues with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Among other issues, we discussed Feed the Future, the U.S.-led global hunger and food security initiative designed to work with partner countries to develop their agriculture sectors and break the cycle of poverty and hunger.

Barley Grower Appreciation Day

I spoke today at the Barley Growers Appreciation Day in Moorhead at the Anheuser-Busch malt plant. Anheuser depends on growers to produce high quality malt barley as the primary ingredient in their beers.

Christians United for Israel

My staff aide Natalie Winters met with Christians United for Israel this week. They met on the same day that President Obama announced his negotiated deal with Iran, so that was a major topic of discussion. Congress now has a mandated 60 days to review this deal, details of which were finally released to us. I take the responsibility of oversight very seriously. I plan to analyze the merits of the deal and the impact it will have on our nation's security as well as the security of our allies.

Minnesota Farm Bureau

Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap stopped by my Washington office this week and visited with my staff aide Rebekah Solem about issues important to the Farm Bureau membership. They discussed a range of issues, from the GMO labeling bill that had just passed out of the House Agriculture Committee to plans for next month’s highly-anticipated Farmfest.

340B Hospitals

This week my staff aide Natalie Winters met with 340B Hospitals. Many of the hospitals in the 7th District service low-income patients, many of whom are seniors facing ever increasing prescription drug prices. I support the 340B Program because it helps ensure that folks can get the medications they need without fear of going broke.

Legislative Update

Agriculture Committee Update

The House Agriculture Committee this week approved The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 (H.R. 1599). The bipartisan bill would establish a voluntary, nationwide GMO labeling program. The bill helps avoid the potential mess of 50 states with 50 different labeling schemes.

The Committee also met Wednesday to recognize the continuing contributions of the 1890s land-grant universities on the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act. Land-grant universities play an important role in agricultural research, extension, and educational programs, and I was pleased to welcome several land-grant university presidents to the Committee.

Also on Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Nutrition met for the seventh hearing to review the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The hearing focused on developing and using evidence-based solutions.

4-H Congressional Caucus

This week, I joined some of my colleagues in launching the Congressional 4-H Caucus. 4-H continues to do great work, and the new caucus is an excellent avenue to advocate for all they do across the country. I look forward to working with my colleagues to grow this important caucus and help our young men and women reach their highest potential.


C-SPAN Educator’s Conference

Elizabeth Hazeldine (MOORHEAD)

Elizabeth Hazeldine was specially selected to attend the C-Span Educator’s Conference this week to explore classroom techniques that strengthen student engagement and interest in civics. Elizabeth is a social studies teacher at the Woodrow Wilson High School in Fargo, and resides in Moorhead.

Capitol Rotunda Closures

The Capitol Rotunda will be closed July 27 through September 7 as a result of scheduled interior restoration efforts. While the Rotunda is unavailable for tours during this time, my office and the Capitol Visitor Center will continue to guide visitors along alternative tour routes. 

Discovering the 7th

The Wheels Across the Prairie Museum boasts eight exhibit buildings designed to preserve Tracy’s pioneer history and architectural style. Early wheeled farm and automotive equipment are particularly emphasized in the museum’s collections, many of which are stored in the Tracy Car Barn.

This Week in American History
President Taylor, 1847

Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor ended his command of Saint Paul’s Fort Snelling on July 12, 1829. Taylor’s status as a national hero, which he would later gain through successful military campaigns in the Mexican-American War, helped him secure a term as the 12th president of the United States. President Taylor is the only president to have spent extensive time in Minnesota.

Visitors from the District

Lance, Carter, Cole, and Chad Peterson (UNDERWOOD)

Amber Wieberdink (CLARA CITY)
2015 Congressional Art Competition