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Posts tagged: Collin Peterson

USDA Marks Homeownership Month in Minnesota

Written by Adam Czech, Public Information CoordinatorThere’s a unique story behind each home loan and home repair project financed by USDA Rural Development in Minnesota. On June 9, State Director Colleen Landkamer and her staff visited three homeowners to celebrate June Homeownership Month and learn more about their stories.

“I think it is amazing how many people we are able to help become home owners and remain in their homes each year through our programs,” Landkamer said. “Visiting with the people that use our programs really highlights the importance of home ownership in strengthening our rural communities.”

Landkamer and staff were joined at each home by staff from Congressman Collin Peterson’s office. Each home owner received an American flag that flew above the U.S. Capital as a gift from Congressman Peterson.

Below is a brief recap of what makes each person’s story unique.

Melissa Miller
After almost 10 years of renting, Melissa Miller is finally a home owner. Melissa, along with her two children moved into her first home in Brandon, Minn., in late April using a USDA Rural Development direct home loan.

“I never dreamed I would own a home,” Miller said. “It’s still kind of surreal, but we did it.”

Melissa put herself through school and works two jobs to support her family. Rural Development partnered with the West Central Minnesota Community Action agency to build Miller’s home.  “Right now I am loving life,” Melissa said. “Being a home owner means a lot to me and I couldn’t be happier.”

Jessica Botten
Jessica Botten’s daughter McKenna, 5, had just one request after moving into her new home: She wanted a pink room.

Jessica closed on her home in Alexandria, Minn., on Dec. 10. A phlebotomist at a nearby clinic, Jessica previously rented an apartment next to a motor racing track, not exactly the most peaceful location to live.

“The home is ideal for McKenna and I,” she said. “She can play in our yard, there’s more room for her toys. I really feel like I’m home now.”

And, yes, she was able to paint McKenna’s room pink.

Dorcella Hagen
Dorcella Hagen keeps a guest book in her home in Cyrus, Minn., so she will always remember who came to visit her. One night after a dinner party, one of her guests noticed a moisture spot on her ceiling. It turned out that Dorcella’s roof needed to be replaced.

On a fixed income after a car accident left her disabled, Dorcella used Rural Development’s home repair program to fix her roof, remove the moisture from her ceiling and stay in the home she’s owned since 1994.

“When I told people that some folks from the USDA were going to come visit me today, they wondered why I was having meat inspectors to my house,” Dorcella said. “I told them the USDA works with housing, too. And I couldn’t be more grateful for the program.”

For more information about USDA’s home loan programs click here.

New homeowner Melissa Miller (Left) and Colleen Landkamer, State Director, USDA Rural Development, celebrate Miller’s accomplishment.
New homeowner Melissa Miller (Left) and Colleen Landkamer, State Director, USDA Rural Development, celebrate Miller’s accomplishment. 

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Resolution Honoring USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service

By Suzanne Pender, NRCS

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution recognizing the 75th anniversary of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

The Senate Concurrent Resolution (S. Con. Res. 62) congratulates the outstanding professional public servants, both past and present, of the NRCS as it celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Ranking Member Frank Lucas of Oklahoma introduced the House version of this resolution, which is co-sponsored by 17 other Members of Congress.

In 1935, Congress established NRCS in response to the Dust Bowl, a disaster that devastated vast stretches of the nation. Originally known as the Soil Conservation Service, the agency’s name changed to the Natural Resources Conservation Service in 1994 to more accurately reflect its role in protecting all natural resources – soil, air, water, plants and animals.

NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to landowners at a local level, recognizing the diverse needs across the country and the unique concerns in each local area. There is a NRCS field office in almost every county in the United States, and the staff in those offices helps local communities carry out thousands of conservation projects, translating into opportunities for job creation and increased investment in local communities.

“The United States depends as much today on productive soils and an abundant, high-quality water supply as we did 75 years ago, and given the agricultural and environmental challenges we face, these programs are more important than ever” Chairman Peterson said. “With this resolution we salute the NRCS professionals, both past and present, who have worked alongside America’s local farmers and ranchers for 75 years to help preserve our essential natural resources.”

“Farmers were conserving long before it became a celebrated trend to ‘go green.’  They have always had a vested interest in preserving the land that provides for them,” said Ranking Member Lucas. “Partnering with NRCS, our producers are provided the science and technical assistance to implement the most advanced conservation practices in the world.”

The House passed the resolution honoring the 75th anniversary of NRCS by a voice vote.

Udderly Necessary Help For Dairy Producers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was pleased to deliver a little holiday cheer to our nation’s dairy producers when he announced the implementation of the new Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment (DELAP) program. The 2010 Agricultural Appropriations Bill authorized $290 million for loss assistance payments to eligible dairy producers. Read more »