Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 11/22

Nov 22, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Veterans

Delegation lunch

Dear Friends,

This week the Fargo and Minneapolis VA Health Care Systems were named two of the top performing medical facilities in the nation because of the high-quality care they provide for veterans. The Fargo VA Health Care System recently hired Director Lavonne Liversage to oversee its top-performing medical facilities. Economic development continues in the 7th District as Corval Group, an industrial general contractor based in St. Paul, opened up a brand new office in Hawley which brings new jobs to the region. Leaders in the House and Senate Agriculture Committees continue to meet, and we are working to find solutions and pass a five-year farm bill before the end of this year.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Farm Bill Update

Leaders from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees met this week to try and reach a compromise on the farm bill. Unfortunately, those talks ended without an agreement. I believe it’s still possible to finish a bill this year but with the upcoming Thanksgiving recess and differing House and Senate work schedules for December, time is running out. The Committee Leaders will talk next week and I’ll continue looking for ways we can compromise and finally get a new farm bill signed into law.

I discussed the status of the farm bill with Joel Heitkamp on KFGO Friday. Click here to listen to the interview. Matters

VA Health Care Systems Serving 7th District Receive High-Quality Awards

The Fargo and Minneapolis VA Health Care Systems have been named by the Department of Veterans Affairs as two of the top performing medical facilities in the nation. An independent panel reviewed all 151 VA medical facilities and named their top performers based on positive results for veteran patients. It is great to see two VA Health Care Systems that serve veterans in the 7th District being honored for their commitment to high-quality care.

New Director of the Fargo VA Health Care System

Director Lavonne Liversage

The Fargo Veterans Affairs Health Care System recently announced that Lavonne Liversage will be the new Director. Ms. Liversage was the former Deputy Network Director of the Rocky Mountain Network in Denver, CO, and brings more than 17 years in health care leadership experience to Fargo.

Taking excellent care of our nation’s veterans is one of the most important ways we can honor them for their service. The Fargo VA Health Care System provides health services to more than 32,000 veterans in North Dakota and western Minnesota. Its facilities include seven Community Based Outpatient Clinics, two outreach clinics, and one telehealth clinic.

MN Soybean Processors

Back Row: Peter VanRegenmorter, Scott Hedrick (Albert Lea), Derek Masterson (Roseville), Chris Hill and Mike Youngerberg (Mankato)

Front Row: Ron Marr (Brewster) and Ed Hegland (APPLETON)

On Tuesday I met with the Minnesota Soybean Processors in the Rayburn Room of the Capitol to discuss the importance of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). I expressed my disappointment with the Environmental Protection Agency's recent proposal to lower the biofuel targets for 2014. A strong biodiesel and ethanol industry is necessary to advance the next generation of renewable fuels and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The Minnesota Soybean Processors is a cooperative with more than 2,350 members that owns and operates a soybean crush facility and bio-diesel operation in Brewster.

Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities Program

Craig Lindvahl, Jerel Nelson, and Marv Rothstein

The Initiative Foundation hosted a meeting in Staples this week to discuss starting up a CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program in their community. Craig Lindvahl, Executive Director of the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship, spoke to the group about how they started successful programs in Illinois and other states to help students see the world around them as a series of opportunities. They also engage the local business community to share their expertise with the next generation of business owners.

For more information on the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship click here.

Corval Group Grand Opening

On Wednesday Corval Group opened a regional office in Hawley. Corval is a St. Paul-based industrial general contractor that provides construction, engineering and fabrication for many industries. This new office will help them better serve businesses in the North Dakota oil patch and throughout the region. It's great to see them expanding their services and creating jobs in the 7th District, and I congratulate them on their efforts.

This Week in American History

Left: President Kennedy and First Lady Kennedy riding in the motorcade in Dallas, TX.

Right: Gravesite and Eternal Flame for President John F. Kennedy

Exactly fifty years ago today, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX on November 22nd, 1963. As the presidential motorcade paraded through the streets of Dallas, President Kennedy was suddenly struck by multiple gunshots and later succumbed to his wounds. Days later, hundreds of thousands of mourners lined the streets of Washington, D.C. to watch the infamous horse-drawn coffin travel from the Capitol Rotunda to St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral. From there, John F. Kennedy was moved to his final resting place inside Arlington National Cemetery where he was buried with full military honors on a slope in the middle of the cemetery. An eternal flame was lit by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy to forever mark the grave of our 35th President.

Constituents from the 7th

Garfield Elementary School: Lisa Pikop, Karen Andrews, and Nicole Anderson (GARFIELD) Winsted Elementary School: Jennifer and Michael Olson (Rockford), Dave and Jodi Sanken (BROWNTON)

This week the Blue Ribbon winners from Garfield and Winsted Elementary Schools in the 7th District came to town. Pictured above are the teachers and principals with their family members during a tour of the Capitol, standing next to a Minnesota statue of Maria Sanford. A professor of Rhetoric and Elocution at the University of Minnesota, Sanford was one of the first female professors in the United States. Decades later, she was selected by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1958 to represent Minnesota in Statuary Hall. Today an elementary school in Montevideo is named in her honor.