Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 7/3

Jul 3, 2013 Issues: Veterans

"America 2000"

Dear Friends,

This week I joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Rick Nolan as we  met with Minnesota farmers to discuss the future of the Farm Bill and how it will impact our state and the Nation. Two cities in the 7th District turn 125 this week, and we honor their rich history. As we celebrate the day of our nation's independence tomorrow, we keep in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends of the 19-member fire crew in Prescott, Arizona. We also remember the legendary First Minnesota regiment who bravely fought off Pickett's Charge despite being outnumbered three to one during the Civil War exactly 150 years ago.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Farm Bill Meetings

On Monday morning I traveled to Little Falls to take part in a farm bill forum with Rep. Rick Nolan. We discussed the latest challenges we face in getting a farm bill passed in the U.S. House. We were joined by Morrison County FSA Director Darrell Larson, MN Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, and Morrison County Development Director Carol Anderson.

That afternoon Sen. Amy Klobuchar and I held a farm bill meeting at the University of Minnesota Crookston campus. We met with more than 50 farmers and community leaders from around the region to answer questions about the current farm bill situation.

Minnesotans Lend Support to Fight Arizona Wildfire

Minnesota State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl speaks about this terrible loss.

As wildfires sprung up across the western states this spring, the Minnesota Incident Command System’s (MNICS) Federal and State Wildland Fire Agencies have sent out approximately 100 personnel in support. This week Arizona lost 19 brave firefighters as part of the hotshot crew fighting against the Yarnell Hill Fire.  Jeff Knotek (Prescott Fire Department) is a Crookston native who knew the lost firefighters well. Their great sacrifices were made while attempting to protect the lives and homes of others, and their friends and family remain in our prayers.

A Minnesota contract helicopter staffed by 4 state personnel were assigned to the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona following its rapid expansion and the loss of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew members. Three Bureau of Indian Affairs engines and one Red Lake Tribal engine with staff are also supporting wildfire response in Arizona.

Celebrating 125

This week two cities in southwest Minnesota will celebrate their 125th anniversaries. Cottonwood and Ruthton became officially platted in 1888. Cottonwood in Lyon County was named after the cottonwood trees that lined the shores of a nearby lake.  Forty miles south down State Highway 23 through Marshall is the small city of Ruthton. The city was named after the wife of W.H. Sherman, one of the town’s earliest business owners. Ruthton residents are planning a four-day celebration for the Fourth of July and the founding of the city.

This Week in American History

Minnesota National Guard retraces the steps of the First Minnesota Regiment in Pennsylvania for the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Pictured above: Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash and his counterpart, Alabama Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Perry Smith. Photo courtesy Minnesota National Guard.

Minnesota’s First Volunteer Infantry Regiment played a crucial role during a string of battles in Gettysburg, PA on July 2, 1863. During the battles at Gettysburg, the Confederate armies were beginning to split the Union regiments down the middle during Longstreet’s Assault. Union General Hancock gave Minnesota’s First a difficult order to stop the Confederate charge despite the overwhelming odds. The 262 members of the First Minnesota Regiment suffered 215 casualties defending the Union’s front lines, but Longstreet’s Assault was successfully blocked due to Minnesota’s brave soldiers. Their role did not end there. The very next day, the few soldiers that remained from the First Minnesota Regiment helped repel Confederate General Robert E. Lee's renowned infantry assault known as Pickett’s Charge. With the help of Minnesota’s soldiers, the Union won one of its most decisive victories during the Civil War.

Two soldiers from the First Minnesota received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions that day, Corporal Henry O'Brien and Private Marshal Sherman. Today, there are three monuments that stand in Gettysburg dedicated to the bravery and sacrifice of Minnesota’s First Volunteer Infantry Regiment. 

Statue of Freedom

Five months after the battle of Gettysburg in 1863, the bronze Statue of Freedom was completed on top of the U.S. Capitol Dome. The plaster model of the statue, shown with constituents below, is 19 ½ feet tall and weighs 13,000 pounds. In her right hand she holds a sheathed sword, and in her left is a shield with thirteen vertical stripes. The statue on the Dome faces due east because the sun sets in the west, and the sun never sets on freedom in this country.

Scott, Denise, Emma, and Hana DeMartelaere (FERGUS FALLS)

Constituents from the 7th

Minnesota 4-H students visit the House Agriculture Committee room on July 2

"Abstract Circles"
Katlyn McMahon (WARREN)
Entry for 2013 Congressional Art Competition