Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 2/21/2014

Northern Lights

Dear Friends,

This week I traveled throughout the 7th District visiting with business leaders and constituents. Monday I visited an agriculture manufacturing company in East Grand Forks, met with farmers in Red Lake Falls, and then stopped by Digi-Key in Thief River Falls. I also participated in Fosston's Farm Forum and the Mankato Ag Symposium to talk about the recently passed Farm Bill. A Minnesota agriculture company in Mankato is making new technological advancements in the industry which will be very beneficial to farmers. It was good to see two negative proposals, Chained CPI and the military pension cut, recently rejected by Washington.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson

Minnesota 7th District


I visited Fosston on Monday as a guest of KKCQ’s show to speak with farmers in the community. We discussed the Conservation Reserve Program and other aspects of the Farm Bill.

Mayo Manufacturing

General Manager Mike Delisle, Parts Manager Mark Delisle, Mayor of East Grand Forks Lynn Stauss

On Monday I toured Mayo Manufacturing, a successful potato and vegetable handling equipment company in East Grand Forks. Now that the Farm Bill has been signed into law, agriculture manufacturing firms like Mayo have the certainty looking forward to invest in long-term projects.


Cathy Fynboh, Rick Trontvet, Dave Doherty, Mayor of Thief River Falls Jim Dagg, and Darryl Tveitbakk

Senator Amy Klobuchar and I visited city officials and Digi-Key workers, which is one of the fastest growing distributors of electronic components in the world. We discussed Digi-Key’s growing company and their need for additional workers. Businesses like these create the backbone of our local and national economies through their innovation and hard work.

Red Lake Falls

Front: Doug Derosier, Bob Zelenka, Tim DuFault, Ken Asp, Mark Fromke

Back: Mike and Connie Gunderson, Matt Knutson

I met with Red Lake Falls farmers and others in the agriculture industry this week. The group expressed their concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s review of the Renewable Fuel Standard, particularly how the EPA's decision could impact Minnesota's economy. The Farm Bill was also a major topic of discussion, with most of the focus on water retention and flood prevention assistance.

Improvements in Farming Technology

Jerry Johnson (CEO and Founder of Farm Intelligence and Superior Edge), Maggie Dahl (Office Coordinator), and Richard Kakeldey (COO)

Technological advancement in farming is taking the next step as the potential for aerial analysis of farmland by unmanned aircraft is becoming reality. On Wednesday I met with the founder of Farm Intelligence and Superior Edge to learn more about their product advancements. Data gathered by unmanned aircraft can be used for efficient and economical fertilizer use, plant disease identification, yield determination, and soil analysis. We also discussed the potential use of agriculture drones for use in the crop insurance industry for identifying and proving crop loss.

Ag Symposium

Dr. Annette Parker (President of South Central College) and Senator Amy Klobuchar

I attended the Ag Symposium at South Central College (SCC) in North Mankato where I spoke about the Farm Bill. This is the 6th annual Agricultural Symposium which benefits student scholarships and agriculture programs at SCC. 

Click here to read an article about the Farm Bill by the Mankato Free Press.

Military Matters

Military Pension Cut Reversed

Last week Congress passed legislation that would repeal the military pension cuts, undoing the spending cut that Congress had approved two months prior in the December budget deal. The pensions go to veterans who retire after 20 years of service, regardless of their age. Nearly two million retirees currently are eligible, including about 840,000 under age 62. While it covers the current retirees, it does not cover future retirees who would then have to bear the burden of the cut in cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). It’s a partial fix, but it doesn’t go as far as it should. I will continue to work to fully repeal the COLA penalty.

Chained CPI Rejected In Budget

Earlier this week I signed a letter urging the President to rule out using the Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI). I am glad to announce that the Administration decided that this proposal will not be included in this year's budget.

Chained CPI would change the calculation used to measure annual cost-of-living adjustments, and it ends up creating cuts in Social Security and TRICARE payments. In the last few years, both Democrats and Republicans floated the idea of using Social Security reform to help fix our nation's deficit problems. I oppose Chained CPI because it aims to balance our nation's budget on the backs of the elderly, disabled, and our Veterans who all rely on this important cost-of-living adjustment each year.

This Week in American History

On February 20th, 1792, President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act which renewed the United States Postal Office as a cabinet department, guaranteed inexpensive delivery of all newspapers, secured a right to privacy for mail, and allowed Congress to expand postal service to new areas of the fast growing nation. The bill also created a postmaster general to lead the USPS, and Benjamin Franklin served as the nation’s first. The bill began with a push from William Goddard, a Patriot printer who was frustrated that the British postal service was unreliable in delivering his Pennsylvania Chronicle newspaper to its readers. He came out with a plan to fix the problem, and Benjamin Franklin supported the bill’s passage.

Haylee Sandry (CLARA CITY)
2013 Congressional Art Competition