Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 2/2/2018

Sunrise in Kandiyohi

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives hosted President Donald Trump for his first State of the Union Address. While I continue to promote bipartisan cooperation in Congress, I remain concerned about several issues the Trump Administration has put forward including cuts to agriculture spending and NAFTA renegotiations. I had the chance to sit down with State Representative Dan Fabian as well as representatives from the Agriculture Utilization Research Initiative, the National Feed and Grain Association, and the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota to talk about the issues that are important to them. Following the State of the Union Address, I continued the Farm Bill Listening Tour in California and Arizona to discuss the 2018 Farm Bill.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Farm Bill Forums

This week, I joined Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) in central California and my fellow Agriculture Committee member Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) in northeastern Arizona for farm bill listening sessions.  While many miles from Minnesota, several of the issues raised were similar to those from constituents in the Seventh Congressional District such as providing a strong safety net, making tools available for crop protection and animal disease control, and adequately funding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Other issues included specialty crop research funding and strengthening inspections at borders and ports of entry to safeguard against invasive pests and diseases.

National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota

Members of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota visited my office to discuss their priorities in the new legislative session. Minnesota was one of the founding states of the National Organization of the Blind, which today has a membership of more than 50,000. I look forward to working with the Federation to ensure that blind Minnesotans have the social, educational and professional opportunities that they deserve.

State Representative Dan Fabian

I sat down with State Representative Dan Fabian to discuss issues impacting northwestern Minnesota. Topics we covered included gray wolf delisting, the Line 3 Replacement Program, Lancaster and Roseau Ports of Entry hour reductions, and other rural development projects. I look forward to continuing a productive relationship with our state legislators as we move into the new year.

Agricultural Utilization Research Initiative

Ron Obermuller from Brewster and Dan Skogen from Wadena stopped by to visit with me in Washington. The two represent the Agricultural Utilization Research Initiative (AURI), a research institute working to help bring additional value streams to farmers and rural businesses. Ron and Dan discussed new state legislation that will allow AURI to cooperate better across state lines, the need for continued funding, and increasing access to other USDA research programs.

National Grain and Feed Association

I met with National Grain and Feed Association President Randy Gordon on Tuesday to discuss changes to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the upcoming farm bill. I hope to simplify the program and get back to the basics. This includes keeping good farmland being used for farming and less productive land enrolled into CRP.  We also discussed the status of solutions to the Section 199 co-op oversight.

Red Lake Electric Coop Regional Meeting

The Red Lake Electric Coop held a regional meeting in Goodridge this week where they summarized their 2017 operations. Even with 60 new residential, agricultural and commercial service installations, the overall energy sales went down for the coop. I support the electric cooperatives and the options they provide to the people of the Seventh District.

Plummer Area Sportsmen’s Club’s Annual Meeting

On Sunday, my staff attended the Plummer Area Sportsmen’s Club’s Annual Meeting to hear about the great work the Club has been doing. This group of sportsmen provide the community with opportunities to enjoy outdoors. As an avid outdoorsman myself, I share their passion and am happy to support their work.

Point of View with Chris Berg

On Tuesday evening I was a guest on Point of View with Chris Berg. Our discussion took place just before the State of the Union. We previewed President Trump’s speech, in which I expressed my concerns on proposed cuts to crop insurance as well as other things troubling to the agriculture community. Many folks in my district are worried about what the President plans to do with NAFTA and trade negotiations. While there are a few things he has said which make people nervous, I remain willing to work with him and the Administration on issues we may agree.

Watch my interview here which begins at the 8:41 mark.

Down on the Farm Training

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s “Down on the Farm” training offered advice and resources for community members and financing professionals that work to support farmers especially during stressful times. Four additional Down on the Farm trainings will be available, dates and locations include:

February 21 – Riverland College West A237/ A240, Austin

February 22 – South Central College Heritage Hall, North Mankato

March 14 – Itasca Community College Room 015 Backus Student Center, Grand Rapids

March 15 – Northland Community & Technical College Assemble Room 203, Thief River Falls

United Community Action Partnership Update

This morning my staff aide Jacki Anderson attended United Community Action Partnership’s (UCAP) program update. UCAP serves over 22,000 people each year in southwestern Minnesota. They provide critical services to low and moderate income households. A wide range of resources can be found in the services they provide, including housing, energy assistance, transportation, and healthcare enrollment. I appreciate the support that our community action organizations provide to our households and communities.

This Week in American History

On January 30, 1958, the states of Minnesota and North Dakota agreed that Minnesotans who work in North Dakota and North Dakotans who work in Minnesota should not be required to pay income tax in both states.

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 the governmental center of the Native American reservation covering the largest area in Minnesota…

Congratulations to Virginia Weston of Detroit Lakes, who was the first to correctly identify last week’s location as my Detroit Lakes District Office!

Share your guess on our website –


Richville - Otter Tail County