Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 11/13/2015

Cleveland Elementary School (FERGUS FALLS)

Dear Friends,

This week, people in communities across the 7th District honored America’s veterans and reaffirmed our duty to support them in and out of uniform. The City of Willmar also celebrated the dedication of a $10,000,000 TIGER Grant to help alleviate rail congestion in the area. Finally, members of my staff attended the annual AgriGrowth Council meeting to help develop policies that enhance profitability in agriculture.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Veterans Day 2015

We can never do enough for those who have served and sacrificed to make America strong and safe. Take a look at some of our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders from Cleveland Elementary School in Fergus Falls who started their day observing the color guard, singing patriotic songs, and recognizing families in their community who serve.

Rail Connector and Industrial Access Project

Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg was in Willmar on Friday to officially dedicate a $10,000,000 Transportation Investment Generation Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant to Willmar’s Rail Connector and Industrial Access Project. Members of my staff helped celebrate the event, which will improve safety, livability, and traffic conditions in the community. I supported federal funding for this project and look forward to it moving forward.

AgriGrowth Council

P.J. Aarsvold (President, Minnesota State FFA)

My staff member Tom Meium attended the AgriGrowth Council’s annual meeting on November 12.  AgriGrowth, an organization of Minnesota agribusiness, farm commodity organizations, and farmers, takes a proactive approach to developing policies to enhance profitability of agriculture in Minnesota. At the 2015 annual meeting, a new project to address conservation and water issues was unveiled.  Participants will work on a watershed level to develop grassroots solutions to water quality concerns, develop ways to measure sustainability, and help farmers increase productivity. Water quality issues are a major concern, and I welcome this initiative to address the matter.

Tom also had the opportunity to visit with Minnesota State FFA President P.J. Aarsvold at the meeting. Tom served as State FFA President in 1968-69, the same year FFA opened its membership to female agriculture students.

Coborn’s Blender Pumps

Representatives from Minnesota Corn, the American Lung Association, and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association unveiled their new blender pumps at Coborn’s in Pipestone this week. Blender pumps allow consumers to select from E-15 up to E-85 blended ethanol. During the two-hour open house, 669 gallons of E-85 was sold at the price of 66 cents per gallon.

Lakes Area Workforce Summit

Peggy Kennedy (President, Minnesota State Community and Technical College)

The Detroit Lakes campus of the Minnesota State Community and Technical College held a Workforce summit on Friday morning to discuss issues and trends related to workforce shortages in the region. My staff aide Toni Merdan attended.


U.S. Passport Services

The U.S. Department of State encourages travelers to apply for passport services early as projected demand in the coming years continues to grow. Many foreign countries require visitors’ passports to have at least six month’s validity, meaning that renewals should take place well in advance of any travel. Together with online delivery estimates, passport agencies will open on select Saturdays to accommodate increased traveler demand.

Capitol Dome Restoration Project

Following the repair of the Capitol’s cast-iron dome, the Dome Restoration Project will enter its final repainting phase later this month. In total, 1,215 gallons of paint will be used in layers to restore the topcoat color, known as “Dome White.”

Discovering the 7th

Joseph Renville, a Minnesotan explorer and trader, established a fur post in Lac Qui Parle in 1826. Renville soon invited missionaries to join him, establishing the Lac Qui Parle Mission as one of the first churches and schools in the state. The site, now managed by the Chippewa County Historical Society, is open for visitors to explore artifacts and exhibits related to the Dakota and missionaries who worked with them.

This Week in American History

The American Legion, the nation’s largest veteran service organization, held its first convention in Minneapolis on November 10, 1919. Since then, the Legion has grown to an organization of more than 2.4 million members dedicated to veteran health, jobs, benefits, and education. In addition to advocating for the nation’s veteran community, the American Legion often conducts community and youth service activities.  

Visitors from the District

Julie Hansel (St. Paul) and Ian O’Connell (Vice President for Finance and Administration, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative)

Ayden, Amber, Leyton, Ellery, and David Cziok (LITCHFIELD)

Tasia Wickham (FERGUS FALLS)
2015 Congressional Art Competition