Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 8/10/2018
Petition at Farmfest – Redwood County
This week, I had the opportunity to attend Farmfest. Hundreds of Minnesota’s farmers, ranchers and manufacturers traveled to the site to see the latest developments in agriculture technology, and to watch presentations from experts in the field. I also visited with constituents in Roseau and Kittson counties who are struggling with drought conditions. I have called Secretary Perdue and asked that he declare an emergency for the area. This will allow haying and grazing on CRP acres providing some relief to cattle producers with burned out pastures.
Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District
I enjoyed attending Farmfest at the Gilfillan Estate near Morgan this week. For over 30 years, Farmfest has brought members of the agriculture community together to share information about the industry, and to connect with others who share their way of life. Manufacturers came to showcase new innovations in farm technology, expert speakers gave presentations on topics in agriculture, and venders shared their products and kept everyone well fed by offering a wide-range of locally produced foods.
(Top left) Minnesota Cattlemen’s Association President Mike Landuyt and Senator Tina Smith
(Bottom, at left) Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap
This year, over 400 groups operated booths at Farmfest. I took the opportunity to speak with attendees and exhibitors about the issues that are affecting their work. American Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap and Minnesota Cattlemen’s Association President Mike Landuyt took advantage of this opportunity as well.
(Top left) Minnesota Corn Growers Association, (Right) Governor Mark Dayton and my staff aide Rebekah Solem
(Bottom left) Cottonwood FFA students working the Farm Bureau pork chop booth, (Right) Corn ice cream from the University of Minnesota
I heard again and again from farmers about their concerns with trade, and farm profitability. The trade war is sinking prices for livestock and commodities, and farm income is expected to hit a 12-year low in 2018. It is time that Congress and the Administration step up to do right by farmers by enacting a Farm Bill and pursuing trade policies that support our producers.
(Top, left to right) American Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap, Lynn Ketlesen, Representative Tim Walz (Bottom left) Mick Kjar
Between conversations with producers I took time to visit with agricultural news networks to discuss the Farm Bill and trade negotiations. If you would like to listen to one or more of my interviews, please follow any of the links below.
Drought in Northwestern Minnesota
I met with livestock producers from Kittson and Roseau County this week to discuss the extremely dry weather they have experienced this summer. The lack of rain has contributed to the growing shortage of hay, a primary ingredient in cattle feed. A long winter, and a hot, windy summer has limited natural pasture growth, forcing farmers to start feeding hay earlier than normal. The combination of minimal pasture growth and longer hay-feeding intervals is raising concerns that hay prices will remain high throughout another Minnesota winter.
Senate Action Needed on Wood Heater Bill
Two years ago, several wood heater manufacturing companies in my district contacted me about an EPA regulation that was pushing them out of business. These manufacturers employ hundreds of rural Minnesotans and drives local economies in towns like Greenbush, Red Lake Falls, and Warroad.
I introduced H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act, in early 2017 to address EPA’s overly burdensome rules on these types of companies. After a year of advocacy and Congressional committee hearings, my bill passed the House as part of a small package five months ago. I hope the Senate can move quickly so this bill can be signed into law.
I am proud to represent rural Minnesotans in Congress and will continue to advocate on behalf of our businesses and families.
Red Lake Falls Discussion on Infrastructure
Senator Amy Klobuchar and my staff aide LeRoy Stumpf met with Red Lake Falls officials to discuss infrastructure needs in the area. Many of Minnesota’s rural communities require large infrastructure investments for upgrades to sewer and water, and broadband internet systems. As ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture, which oversees rural development programs, I will continue working to ensure those programs are adequately funded to help our rural communities meet their needs.
Yellow Rose Days with Marvin
On Thursday, I was able to tour Marvin’s production facility in Warroad during their Yellow Rose Days festivities. Marvin’s Warroad factory houses more than 2 million square feet of manufacturing space and is the location where they produce many of their best-known products. I am thankful for the opportunity to tour their factory, and for the vital role they have played in the Warroad community for so many years.
This Week in American History
On August 9, 1842, the Webster–Ashburton Treaty, which set the boundary between Canada and the United States, was signed by the United States and Great Britain. The boundary had been in dispute since the end of the American Revolution. Minnesota's curious Northwest Angle is a result of this treaty.
What’s the Story?
George G. Marvin moved to Warroad in 1904 to take a job managing a local grain elevator. In 1912, he established the Marvin Lumber & Cedar Company to take advantage of the community’s booming lumber industry. George became well known in Warroad for his business management skills and his willingness to lend a helping hand during times of economic hardship. Following World War II, George’s son William launched what we know today as Marvin Windows and Doors – offering jobs to veterans returning from battle. Marvin has grown to employ more than 4,000 people today, many of them in Minnesota. This miniature Marvin semi-truck is displayed in my Washington, D.C. office.