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Dan Ferrise, Published December 10 2012

Letter: Congressman moved quickly when Minn. jobs threatened

Local jobs are at the heart of what we do at Miller Manufacturing. We employ 135 people full time at our factory and distribution center in Glencoe, Minn. Because of our top-notch staff of Minnesota workers, we are able to produce quality American-made farm and ranch products at a price that competes successfully with cut-rate, offshore goods.

A few years ago our position was threatened –and with it Minnesota jobs –when a competitor knocked off our line of backyard poultry products that we have manufactured for more than 50 years in Minnesota and had them made in China. To add insult to injury, these inferior China products are labeled with the 4-H emblem, which is funded by the U.S. government through the Department of Agriculture.

We believed that this was clearly an improper use of the 4-H emblem as per 4-H policy, which prohibits the use of the emblem to imply endorsement of products. We also believed it was not appropriate for a U.S. government-funded organization to license products made in China and therefore put U.S. jobs at risk.

We brought our concerns to Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who took action to keep jobs in Minnesota. He and his staff worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as a result of Congressman Peterson’s efforts, this unfair practice, and in my opinion abuse of a national treasure, will cease at the end of this year.

The 7th District is fortunate to have a congressman who is responsive to Minnesota business and working to protect American jobs. On behalf of all our dedicated employees in Glencoe, Minn. – thank you, Rep. Peterson and staff, for your efforts.

Ferrise, Eagan, Minn., is chief executive officer of Miller Manufacturing Co.