Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 1/26/2018

Jan 29, 2018 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Health, Transportation

Welcome Sign in Ada

Dear Friends,

This week I visited several communities throughout the Seventh district on upcoming issues at home and on Capitol Hill. I held two farm bill discussions in Pelican Rapids and Ada, where I welcomed the chance to have real conversations with the Minnesota farmers and producers who will be most impacted by this important legislation. I was glad to see broad input on the changes needed in this year’s farm bill and appreciated Senator Smith joining our discussion in Ada. I also sat down with Moorhead Mayor Williams and several local leaders to hear about new efforts to protect and grow their city. District work periods provide welcome opportunities to connect with the communities that make Minnesota such a great place to live and work.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Farm Bill Forum in Pelican Rapids

Panelists: Dennis Johnson, Dan Skogan, Ryan Pesch; guests attending; Brittney Johnson

On Wednesday, I participated as a panelist at a listening session entitled “The Farm Bill Forum: Sustainability and Rural Vibrancy,” hosted by the Community Conversations Committee in Otter Tail County. The event was held in Pelican Rapids and attracted about 85 area residents. Other panelists included Dennis Johnson, Ryan Pesch, and former Senator Dan Skogan. We discussed several aspects of the Farm Bill, including the ARC and PLC commodity programs, the Dairy Margin Protection Program, and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). There was also a lot of interest in understanding the impacts of the new tax bill. I appreciated the invitation and the opportunity to have a good discussion on these important issues impacting the 7th District.

Ada Farm Meeting

This morning Senator Smith and I held a farm meeting in Ada to talk with local growers and producers on upcoming ag issues. Folks shared their concerns on the trade negotiations that could heavily impact our rural economy, the unintended Section 199 co-op loophole, and talked about the need to support crucial farm bill programs like the bill’s dairy, conservation and crop insurance programs. With input from producers, I hope that we will see a bipartisan bill in the coming months. I am committed to ensuring that the farm bill protects our rural community and provides the support our farmers need to thrive.

Meeting with Moorhead Leaders

On Tuesday I met with Moorhead city Mayor Del Rae Williams, City Manager Chris Volkers, City Engineer Bob Zimmerman, Councilwoman Melissa Fabian, and Councilwoman Brenda Elmer. The group welcomed me to Moorhead’s City Hall and showed me the plans to create a railroad corridor. I fully support the plan because it will improve safety and help local businesses. Afterwards we grabbed a bite to eat where we continued our conversation on the railroad project. We also touched base on health care, local tax rates, and the future of flood control for the Fargo-Moorhead region.

Pediatric Home Care

I met with Mandy Rubenstein and Darla Thompson on Thursday to discuss home care throughout the district as well as the state. One of the main concerns for home care patients is access to an adequate health center. Many people are forced to travel far distances from their homes in order to receive the care they need. It is important we focus on facilitating resources towards improving our home care network and making health centers more accessible.

Building Trades

Yesterday, I met with West Minnesota Area Labor Council AFL-CIO President Mark Froemke, Bejou Mayor and NW MN Building and Construction Trades Council President Darryl Lunde, and North Dakota’s Building Trades Union President Jason Ehlert in my Detroit Lakes office. From there we discussed the unnecessary government shut down and why I voted to end it all together. We also spoke on the economic and workforce needs throughout the Seventh District. While Minnesota has faced difficulty with workforce needs, I am confident we can continue to thrive. Workforce and economic opportunity continue to be top priority for me in Washington.

Meeting with Dr. Wallace Cole

I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Wallace Cole and his intern Zack Stach on health care and current proposals for veterans to receive full chiropractic benefits. Veterans don’t always get the proper care they need when they come home, and I want to make sure they do. I will continue to work towards improving veterans’ health care in Washington.

Trucking Industry

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to meet with local truck drivers Jeff Leyk and Marc Rosenow to discuss concerns within the transportation industry, specifically trucking. The transportation industry has faced too many burdensome regulations, such as the Electronic Logging Mandate. Many of these regulatory burdens are affecting truck drivers’ jobs and businesses. I am hopeful there is a solution to relieve the transportation industry of these burdens.

Visit with State Representative Matt Bliss

State Representative Matt Bliss stopped by my Detroit Lakes office this week to discuss veterans’ issues within the Seventh District. Although Rep. Bliss’s State House District is primarily in the Eighth Congressional District, he and I share the city of Bemidji. Right now, there are state proposals that would establish veterans’ homes and health centers in both Bemidji and Montevideo. I fully support these initiatives and would be glad to assist in anyway on the Federal level.

Fargo Forum Editorial Board

On Tuesday this past week, I met with the Fargo Forum editorial board. Topics ranged from the government shutdown, tax reform, and health care. One topic that we really focused on was the Fargo-Moorhead diversion project. You can read about my thoughts in their article, which was distributed to other newspapers as well.

AM 1100 The Flag

This morning I was a guest on AM 1100 The Flag’s Need to Know Morning show. I discussed my thoughts on the government shutdown, the recent tax bill, and the future of the F-M diversion project. Download and listen to the interview here.

Willmar Chamber of Commerce

This morning my staff attended the Willmar Chamber’s presentation on the new tax bill. I know how important these changes will be in the coming year. The tax legislation will have wide ranging implications for businesses across America. While some of these will be beneficial changes that enable U.S. businesses to be more competitive globally, we must work to mitigate the unintended consequences that are arising due to the fast and hidden nature under which the bill was drafted.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Amy Leither (Cold Spring), Rev. Jon Nelson (WILLMAR), Tammy Walhof (Lutheran Advocacy-Minnesota, St. Paul), Keila McCracken (Bemidji), Noreen Stevens (St. Paul)

A group representing the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) visited my Washington office on Tuesday in connection with the Lutheran Hunger Leadership Gathering. More than 100 faith-based leaders travel to Washington every year to attend this conference which focuses on policies that help address issues of hunger, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These leaders talked about their experiences in schools and local communities in rural Minnesota. I think it is important that these stories be told and appreciate the Lutherans' dedication to helping address problems of hunger. I look forward to continuing to work with them.

This Week in American History

On January 27, 1960, Grand Portage National Monument was dedicated when Secretary of the Interior Seaton accepted the site from the Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe. The National Monument hosts 8.5 miles of footpath leading into Lake Superior.

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 location is my home base office in the District…

Congratulations to Anna Aakre of Perham, who was the first to correctly identify last week’s location as Detroit Lakes High School in Becker County!

Share your guess on our website –

Otter Tail County