Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 10/21/2016

October 28, 2016

Lake Carlos State Park
in Alexandria

Dear Friends,

This week showcased some great examples of Minnesotans coming together to discuss important issues and move our communities forward. I was happy to speak at the Christianson and Associates’ Biofuels Financial Conference on tax reform and budget negotiations. I was also honored to help recognize the 25 years of manufacturing Patriot Sprayers by Case IH in Benson. Additionally, the Tribal-State Opioid Summit brought leaders from nearly all of Minnesota's 11 tribal communities together, and the Economic Development Conference saw around 375 people from across the country in Minneapolis to learn how important good broadband access is for future economic growth. I am always proud to see how our community works with and for each other.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Biofuels Financial Conference

Photo Credit: Ethanol Producer Magazine
Photographer: Tim Portz

On Monday, I attended and spoke at the Christianson and Associates’ Biofuels Financial Conference in Minneapolis. As a former Certified Public Accountant, I have a unique perspective on Congress’s role in tax reform. I talked about the value of the Renewable Fuel Standard, the tax extenders package that Congress may consider in December, and end-of-year budget negotiations. I appreciated the chance to speak and will continue to fight for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard that helps the rural economy.

Case IH

Today, I was honored to help recognize the 25 years of manufacturing Patriot Sprayers by Case IH in Benson. More than 300 people are employed at the Case IH plant in Benson.

Fargo-Moorhead Diversion

This week constituents from the Red River Valley met with my staff in Washington, D.C. to talk about the need for flood protection for all communities in the region. For years, I have encouraged stakeholders to work together so that local, state and federal partners can work in concert to advocate on behalf of the project. Now that the project has been denied a permit by the State of Minnesota because the project in its current form violates state law, it is more important than ever that we start talking about where we go from here. I remain concerned that the decision to spend taxpayer dollars on a project that doesn’t have regulatory approval will prevent stakeholders from working together on options that will finally bring needed flood protection to Fargo and squander resources that could be used to protect communities today.  

Tribal-State Opioid Summit

On Tuesday, Governor Dayton convened a Tribal-State Opioid Summit with leaders from nearly all of Minnesota's 11 tribal communities. The attendees met to address real ways to tackle the opioid epidemic that has become a serious problem in Native American communities, and to find solutions moving forward. Breakout sessions included discussions on prevention, prescription drug monitoring, law enforcement and public safety.

Outstanding Community Builder Awards

Deb Matero Zak thanks those attending the event at UMC

The Northwest Minnesota Women’s Fund presented the Outstanding Community Builder Awards for 2016 to Deb Matero Zak and Cindy Serratore. The awards are presented to women who have demonstrated leadership in improving the quality of life for those around them, making Northwest Minnesota a better place to live, work and raise families.

The Northwest Minnesota Women's Fund is a component fund of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation serving twelve counties in Northwest Minnesota. The fund develops resources and serves as a catalyst for improving the quality of life for women and girls.

New Wellness Center

A new facility at the University of Minnesota, Crookston Campus will provide numerous opportunities for students to gain valuable hands-on educational experiences in facility management, exercise research, event management, recreational programming and individual training and coaching.

The new facility also includes a number of energy saving technologies like solar panels on the which will produce 10 percent of the building’s electrical needs, all LED lighting, as well as R-20 insulated walls, an R-36 insulated roof, and specially insulated windows.

Economic Development Conference

Some 375 people from across the country came together in Minneapolis to learn how important good broadband access is for future economic development. In the photo, Tom Jensen, General Field Representative for Iowa, USDA equated the development of broadband to the development of electricity in the 1930's. They are both essential infrastructures for rural development and will only happen with a strong public-private partnership.

Other speakers mentioned how broadband networks allow 33,000 of the 90,000 United Healthcare workers to work from home or office. This creates work place flexibility to recruit good employees and reduce costs.

Governor Mark Dayton has a goal of "border to border high speed internet access in Minnesota." Achieving that goal would promote economic development, telemedicine in rural areas and better educational opportunities.

Minnesota Business Finance Corporation

Tom Saehr

My staff aide, Toni Merdan, attended the Minnesota Business Finance Corporation's Annual Membership meeting in St. Cloud this week. Minnesota Business Finance Corporation (MBFC) is a non-profit Certified Development Corporation that originates SBA 504 loans for Minnesota's small business.

The 504 program is an affordable long-term, low down payment, fixed rate loan for businesses. Recently, SBA provided 504 authorizations for business refinancing for building and equipment. MBFC also offers the VetLoan Advantage program which complements SBA's veteran loan initiatives. For additional information on the 504 programs and MBFC visit


National Forest Products Week

Every year, the third week in October is National Forest Products Week, a time where we celebrate industries and their workers for providing our nation’s paper products. In addition to producing goods, the paper industry also plays a valuable role in the energy market. I am pleased to recognize their importance as co-chairman of the Congressional Working Forests Caucus. Through this role I can educate fellow members of Congress about the importance of the paper industry for our growing economy.

This Week in American History

On October 23, 1920, Sinclair Lewis’s novel Main Street was published. Born in Sauk Centre, his novel earned him the distinction of the first American author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, for his “vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters.”

Spotted in the Seventh

Can YOU guess what was Spotted in the Seventh? Each week, the newsletter will feature a landmark or site somewhere in Western Minnesota. The first person to name the location wins! The location of the photo as well as the winner will be revealed in the next newsletter.

This week’s landmark proclaims one city in the Seventh as the “birthplace of America”…

Congratulations to Max Kahlhamer of Thief River Falls for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the statues of Babe and Paul Bunyan in Bemidji!

Share your guess on our website –