Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 7/19

Jul 19, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs


7th District Constituents Visit DC

Caleb, Angie, Chad, Kelsey and Kaitlin Goergen (ALEXANDRIA),
David and Penny Anderson (KENSINGTON)
Behind them is a statue honoring pioneers in the suffrage movement
The Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights was held 165 years ago today

Dear Friends,

This week we took a step toward farm bill conference but the outlook remains unclear. I congratulate Central Boiler of Greenbush as their company was honored by the Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. I also look forward to the development of the community project "Imagine Fergus Falls" that recently received federal funding for their historical preservation initiative. This week I met with a number of organizations across Minnesotan, including folks who work in conservation, agriculture, and finance.

Sincerely,

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Next Steps for Farm Bill

First steps were taken this week to resolving differences between the House and Senate farm bills. The House sent H.R. 2642, the so-called “farm only” farm bill to the Senate and the Senate followed by making the formal request to appoint conferees. The House bill does not include nutrition programs and repeals permanent law provisions, making the next steps very unclear. I discussed the situation on AgriTalk Monday, and you can listen online here (remarks beginning at the 12 minute mark).

Fergus Falls Receives Grant for Historical Project

Photo courtesy Tim Litt (FERGUS FALLS)

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced grant awards to support Springboard for the Arts, which will use the funding to help the project "Imagine Fergus Falls", a year-long initiative that will engage artists as community leaders and lead to the creation of dozens of artist-led placemaking projects in service of the historic preservation and economic improvement goals of the City of Fergus Falls. A major focus of "Imagine Fergus Falls" will be the history and future of the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, or “The Kirkbride,” a state mental institution which was Fergus Falls’ largest employer for over 100 years.

Pilots Caucus

Top: I joined my fellow Co-Chair Rep. Sam Graves (MO-06) in speaking about the work we're doing in Congress with regards to aviation.

Bottom: Receiving award from Mark Richardson (President, Southwest Airlines Pilots Association) and John Malmborg (President, Netjets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots)

I was honored to receive an award on Wednesday recognizing my work as Co-Chair of the Congressional Pilot Caucus. As a pilot myself, I understand firsthand the issues facing those who work in the aviation industry.

Central Boiler Recognized for Dedication to Safety and Health

This week Central Boiler (GREENBUSH) was honored by the Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. Undertakings like this require many hours of hard work to develop the safety and health programs that go beyond the basic OSHA regulations. Out of 158,000 mid sized companies in Minnesota, Central Boiler was the 38th to obtain this recognition. I commend the management and employees, and I am very proud of their success and dedication!

Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD)

Mark Zabal (President, MASWCD, Victor), Ian Cunningham (Vice President & Southwest Area 5 Director, MASWCD, PIPESTONE), Nathan Hylla (Advanced Engineering Technician, Stearns County SWCD, ALBANY)

Leaders of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts visited me in Washington to express the need for a comprehensive farm bill and to talk about the valuable work they are doing in Minnesota. Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) work with landowners in both rural and urban settings to manage and direct natural resource management programs at the local level.

Minnesota Turkey Growers

I sat down with members of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association to discuss the status of the farm bill and other issues of importance to them. Minnesota is the top turkey producing and processing state in the United States, with 250 family farmers raising an estimated 47 million turkeys per year.

Annual Hot Dog Lunch

Joe Swedberg (Hormel of Austin, MN)

On July 17, the American Meat Institute held their Annual Hot Dog Lunch on Capitol Hill.  This event welcomed meat industry representatives and Capitol Hill lawmakers and staff to celebrate July as National Hot Dog Month by eating a hot dog in the Rayburn House Office Building Courtyard. I shared a hot dog with Joe Swedberg, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for Hormel Foods in Austin, MN.

Minnesota Corngrowers

Doug Albin (CLARKFIELD), John Mages (BELGRADE), Myron Peterson (SACRED HEART), Brian Thalmann (PLATO), DeVonna Zeug (WALNUT GROVE), Noah Hultgren (RAYMOND), Chad Willis (WILLMAR), Jean Knakmuhs (WALNUT GROVE)

Members of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association from the 7th District were in town for the semi-annual Corn Congress. Corn Congress attendees represent 28 states. Along with Capitol Hill visits, these grower-leaders also participate in action team and committee meetings and elect new leaders to the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.

AgStar

Paul Kohls (Victoria), Wick Manley (Rochester), Greg Eaton (Winona), Staci Martin (Elysian)

On Thursday I met with AgStar Financial Services, ACA to discuss their priorities including protecting the crop insurance program.

Transatlantic Partnership

Jan Mulder, MEP—European Parliament, Thierry De L’Escaille, Secretary-General, European Landowners’ Organization

At the Transatlantic Roundtable Discussion here in Washington, I spoke about innovation in the agriculture economy and the importance of transatlantic cooperation for farmers worldwide.

This Week in American History

Photos courtesy from the City of Moorhead Hjemkomst Center

On July 19th, 1982, Robert Asp’s Hjemkomst, a Viking replica long boat, completed its sailing journey from Duluth, Minnesota to Bergen, Norway.  Hjemkomst, pronounced Yem-Komst, is Norwegian for homecoming. Robert was a guidance counselor at Moorhead Junior High School and had always dreamed of sailing a Viking ship across the Atlantic Ocean to Norway. With the help of family, friends, and lumber from over one hundred trees, the Hjemkomst was built and ready to sail. Although Robert passed away in 1980, four of his children trained a crew of twelve to fulfill their father’s sailing dream. The trip itself took fifty-six days. The coldest part of the journey was the voyage over Lake Superior, and the most dangerous portion was navigating through the middle of a tropical storm 500 miles east of New York City. When the crew finally ported their ship in Norway, they were honored guests and received a very warm welcome, including a visit from the King of Norway. The Hjemkomst was transported back to Minnesota, and has been on display at the City of Moorhead Hjemkomst Center since 1986.

"Dragonfly"
Abigail Davis (BAGLEY)
Entry for 2013 Congressional Art Competition