Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 1/11

Jan 11, 2013 Issues: Education, Social Security

Winnewissa Falls

Pipestone National Monument


Dear Friends,

This week I met with a number of dairy producers from across Minnesota to discuss dairy policy reform.  I also visited the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Elementary School and enjoyed speaking with the students.  This newsletter contains some important notices about flu season and new online services available from the Social Security Administration.  As we recognize National Milk Day today, we also celebrate the Annual Peanut Butter and Milk Exchange between "sister cities" Litchfield, MN and Hartford, AL.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


Meeting with Dairy Farmers

Meeting with Minnesota dairy producers at the Land O’Lakes corporate offices (1/7)

On Monday, I brought together dairy producers from across the state to discuss the politics surrounding dairy policy reform. I had advocated throughout the year in support of dairy reforms in the farm bill but the Dairy Security Act was not included in the last minute farm bill extension. It was important to hear directly from local producers, discuss what happened to the farm bill and dairy reform and consider ideas for moving forward. There is a critical need for a better dairy safety net and I will continue to push for that change.

Visit to DGF Elementary

On Thursday I visited Glyndon elementary school, which was the school that I attended when I was a kid.  It was good to meet with Mrs. Lauer's 5th Grade Class (pictured above) and discuss my work as a Congressman from the 7th District.  I always enjoy talking with students, and it was good to spend time with the young students at Glyndon elementary.

Farm Bill Update

I talked with farmers in Thief River Falls earlier this week about my concerns for passing a five year Farm Bill in the 113th Congress.

Interview with WDAZ (Video):   

Social Security Admin. Announces New Online Services

The Commissioner of Social Security recently announced that the agency is expanding their services by creating a my Social Security account.  This personalized online account will be available to current beneficiaries as well as people beginning in their working years.  This account will provide recipients with access to their benefit verification letter, payment history, and earnings record.  Eligible workers who will become future recipients of social security can use this account as convenient access to their earnings, benefit information, and estimates of future benefits as they plan retirement.  The goal of this online account is to provide faster service to more people in the comfort of their home, office, or local library.  People age 18 and older can sign up for a personal online account at  If you plan to sign up, please be prepared to provide information that only you are likely to know through a secure verification process.

Flu Season

Most of country is now experiencing elevated levels of influenza or flu-like illness, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Minnesota is one of 47 states currently experiencing estimated widespread levels of influenza.  The CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination for people who have not yet been vaccinated this season.  Each flu season is unpredictable in a number of ways, but you can stay updated by visiting the official website for the CDC.

National Milk Day (1/11)

Today we celebrate one of our favorite beverages: milk.  While we may never know the exact date, most historians believe that milk was first used as a beverage nearly 10,000 years ago when animals were first domesticated.  While young children need the nutrients milk provides as their skeletal systems develop, it is also a healthy addition to any adult's meal due to its nutritious vitamins and proteins.  On this day we also recognize the hard work of our nation's dairy farmers who help bring that glass of milk to our tables.

Annual Peanut Butter and Milk Exchange

While hosting his radio talk show over 40 years ago, Kohlhoff's Super Valu co-owner Bruce Cottington (pictured above) talked about his love of peanut butter and milk. Now Hartford and Litchfield are "PBM sister cities."

The Peanut Butter and Milk Festival began as a simple conversation on KLFD radio about mutual love for peanut butter and milk.  Word spread quickly in Litchfield as folks responded with their passion for peanut butter, and overwhelming support from the town led them to proclaim Litchfield the peanut butter capital of the world.  Minnesota Governor Wendell Anderson proclaimed February 8-15 as Peanut Butter Days with a spotlight on Litchfield.  Cottington reached out to local Minnesota FFA groups, himself a life-time member.  He also reached out to an FFA chapter in Hartford, Alabama, and the two quickly became "sister cities" as Litchfield and Hartford shared their love for peanut butter and milk.

This annual exchange of people, good will, and peanut butter and milk started over 40 years ago, and it continues to this day.  In November, a group of Meeker County residents visited Alabama for their annual Peanut Butter & Milk exchange trip.  They toured farms and businesses in the Hartford area while staying with host families.  Natives of peanut country in Alabama in turn come to visit the Peanut Butter and Milk Festival in Litchfield in February. 

This Week in American History

The first presidential election in United States history was held on January 7, 1789.  Voters cast ballots to choose state electors per the Electoral College system established by the U.S. Constitution.  At that time, only white men who owned property were allowed to vote.  It was no surprise to anyone that George Washington was elected the first President, as he ran essentially unopposed.  According to the law at the time, each elector cast two votes for President.  Because each elector selected Washington with one of his votes, Washington was essentially elected by unanimous consent.