Rep. Peterson's 9/26/2014

Autumn in the Seventh

Dear Friends,

This week in the 7th I participated in 60th anniversary festivities with Polaris in Roseau. I traveled to Minnesota State University Moorhead to welcome the new president, and joined UMN President Kaler in breaking ground for the new Wellness Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston. I also helped unveil new risk management tools authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Finally, I visited with an international delegation of soybean buyers and processors during a farm tour event, and attended a roundtable with the Red Lake Tribal council regarding economic opportunities and development. Important information regarding flu vaccinations and an important financial planning tool from Social Security are below.   



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Polaris Industries

Left: Dalton Pierce (Director, Roseau Plant Operations), Rep. Dan Fabian, Rep. Rod Hamilton
Right: Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, Governor Mark Dayton, J.R. Burke (Gov’t. Relations, Polaris), Dalton Pierce

I had the opportunity to participate in anniversary festivities with Polaris Industries in Roseau, a leader in the power-sports industry for 60 years now. Edgar Hetteen developed the first modern snowmobile in his Roseau garage. Six years later, Hetteen organized Polaris, which would go on to employ more than 5,000 and earn nearly $2.7 billion in annual revenue. I joined Governor Dayton and Senator Stumpf in congratulating the celebrated brand for its service to communities, in both the jobs it creates and the recreational activity it fosters.

UMC Wellness Center

Don Cavalier and Bill Peterson (UMC Faculty), Chancellor Fred E. Wood (UMC), President Eric Kaler (University of Minnesota)

A ceremonial groundbreaking took place at the University of Minnesota Crookston Campus following the announcement of a $1 million grant for construction of a new wellness center. The grant, from Les and June Nielsen, will name the area in memory of their son Mitch, who died in a 1989 motorcycle accident. The 36,000 square foot facility is expected to transform the campus and the community by providing two gymnasiums, a classroom, a multi-purpose room, and numerous workout and public spaces. I was pleased to join students, faculty, Regents, state legislators, UMC Chancellor Wood, and UMn President Kaler in breaking ground for this collaborative project that will strengthen both the academic mission of the university and improve the health of the community. The facility is expected to be completed in 2016.

Red Lake Tribal Council

Chairman Darrell Seki, Red Lake Tribal Council

On Monday, I attended a roundtable with the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Tribal Council to discuss issues of importance to the tribe, including the recently announced COPS Office grant, 8(a) contracting opportunities, economic development, and jobs.  Participants included Tribal Chairman Darrell G. Seki, Sr., Tribal Secretary Donald Cook, Tribal Treasurer Annette Johnson, and District Representatives Gary Nelson, Randall Kingbird, Julius “Toady” Thunder, Roman “Ducker” Statley, Richard Barrett, Sr., and Robert Reynolds.  Mr. Oran D. Beaulieu, Director of Red Lake Comprehensive Health Services, also attended the meeting.  The Red Lake Indian Reservation is located in northern Minnesota and includes the communities of Red Lake, Redby, Ponemah, and Little Rock.

International Soybean Delegation

On Tuesday evening, I joined a farm tour event that was being held at the Bill and Karolyn Zurn family farm in Callaway. The Zurns hosted an international delegation of soybean buyers and processors from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The international guests are in the Red River Valley this week to attend the Soybean Procurement Management for Importers Course, which is presented by the Northern Crops Institute and co-sponsored by the U.S. Soybean Export Council, Northern Food Grade Soybean Association, North Dakota Soybean Council, and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. This course seeks to give participants the opportunity to learn more about the soybeans grown in our area and the details surrounding soybean buying and shipping. 

USDA Announces New Risk Management Programs

On Thursday, I joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Sens. Klobuchar and Franken, Rep. Walz and Minnesota agriculture leaders at an event to unveil the new Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, new risk management tools authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill makes important reforms to farm programs, providing farmers with a choice of a price or revenue-based safety net that will only provide assistance if there is a price or crop loss. Beginning Monday, farmers will be able to visit their local FSA offices to learn more about these important risk management tools and make the best decision for their individual operation. I have been closely following USDA’s efforts to implement the 2014 Farm Bill and am pleased to see implementation of ARC and PLC move ahead. Tools to help farmers choose between ARC and PLC can be accessed at USDA’s website.

Minnesota State University Moorhead


Minnesota State University Moorhead recognized the installation of Dr. Anne Blackhurst as President this week during the university’s homecoming celebrations. The festivities also included a ribbon-cutting at the Livingston Lord Library and Technology Center, which opened its doors to the public on Thursday. Planned by students, faculty, and members of the Moorhead community, the extensive renovation project provides an accessible place for research and teaching.

Flu Vaccinations

Every flu season is different, and influenza can impact even the healthiest of people. The Center for Disease Control recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the most important step in preventing the spread of this contagious sickness. Vaccines are especially encouraged in October to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before the flu season begins. In addition to being vaccinated, everyday precautions such as hand-washing and covering coughs and sneezes are also effective in mitigating the spread of flu. Click here for information about the vaccination location closest to you.

Social Security

Social Security recently announced that they will resume the periodic mailing of Social Security Statements. The Statement is a financial planning tool designed to provide workers with valuable and individualized information regarding their earnings and tax contributions, as well as estimates for future retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. The agency encourages workers 18 and older to create a my Social Security account to immediately access a statement online and better manage benefit payments.

County Courthouse Tour

Wilkin County Courthouse 1911/Present

The small frame building that served Wilkin County after its organization burned the night before the offices were to be moved to the first formal county courthouse in Breckenridge in 1883. Like its predecessor, the courthouse burned in 1924 after more than 40 years of use. Construction of the current two-story stone courthouse began in 1927 after the debris had been cleared from the fire site. Featuring brick pilasters and a four foot stone eagle over the doorway, the building continues to fulfill the inscription carved upon its central parapet: To None Shall We Delay, To None Shall We Deny, Right or Justice.

This Week in American History

“Old” Supreme Court (1810-1860)/Present

The Judiciary Act of 1789, passed by Congress and signed by George Washington, created the Supreme Court of the United States on September 24th, 1789. Comprised of six justices, the Supreme Court, established by Article 3 of the US Constitution, was granted ultimate jurisdiction over all laws, especially those with a Constitutional focus. The number of justices serving in this “High Court” is determined by Congress, and stabilized at 9 in 1869. Warren Earl Burger, a Minnesota native, was appointed Chief Justice by President Nixon in 1969. Though more famously located on 1st Street NE, the Supreme Court was originally housed across the street in the Capitol. The Court is prominent in the American political organization, and in times of Constitutional crisis plays a definitive role in issuing landmark decisions of the time. If you would like information regarding visits to either the “Old” Supreme Court or the current chamber, please request a tour online or call my office at 202-225-2165.

Visitors from the 7th

Sheila, Celia, and Gerald Piipo (NEW YORK MILLS)

Molly Roller (WARREN)

2014 Congressional Art Competition