Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 2/24/2017

Dawson Veterans Memorial
Lac Qui Parle County

Dear Friends,

District work periods give me the chance to head home to Minnesota and spend time with the constituents and community members I am proud to represent. This week I met with constituent groups on a wide array of issues, from the Affordable Care Act and rural broadband to the next farm bill. Hearing from Minnesotans on the issues most important to them continues to be one of my priorities. Finally, congratulations to Paul Johnson and Dylan Langan on their Appointments to the United States Service Academies.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Minnesota Coalition against Sexual Assault

I met with the Minnesota Coalition against Sexual Assault on Tuesday, which included Yvonne Cournoyer, Prevention Program Manager for the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault; Myla Korbel, Program Director and Counselor for the Rape and Abuse Center; and Sheila Korby, the Executive Director for Someplace Safe. We discussed human trafficking and the need to strengthen our resolve against sexual assault. I appreciate the important work they do and look forward to our continuing work together in the future.


On Tuesday, I met with a group of 25 constituents who identify as part of the Indivisibles movement. We had a wide-ranging discussion on issues including the future of the Affordable Care Act, potential changes to public education, and energy consumption. Many people have emailed and called my offices in recent weeks who have concerns about what lies ahead with the new Administration and in Congress, and I was happy to visit with this group to hear their concerns as well. At this point, there are no details from the Administration or leadership in Congress on what could happen with healthcare policy and on many other issues, so there are not a lot of answers to the questions and concerns being brought up.

Local Health Care

Essentia Health; St. Mary’s; Perham Memorial Hospital; Douglas County Hospital

This week, I held a series of meetings with health care providers around the district, including leadership from Essentia Health/St. Mary's of Detroit Lakes, Essentia Health Ada, Perham Memorial Hospital, and Douglas County Hospital for discussions about the needs and concerns they have in the potential wake of changes to the Affordable Care Act.

I appreciated the opportunity to hear from these providers about what is working and what is not working in our health care system, and I hope that I'll be able to use their knowledge and information as Congress considers ways to address some of the issues facing our healthcare system to make it work better, especially in rural areas.

Minnesota Broadband Providers

Senator Klobuchar and I met with area broadband providers Friday morning in Detroit Lakes. Local providers discussed ways to improve the Universal Service Fund and resources needed to expand infrastructure in rural Minnesota. 


Today, Marion Jacobson and Bruce Jacobson from Lake Park stopped by to visit my Detroit Lakes District office to discuss with me AARP's concerns regarding cuts to Medicare and the importance of strengthening Social Security.

Fergus Falls State of the City

On Thursday, staff aide Allison Myhre attended the the Fergus Falls "State of the City" Luncheon, and heard updates from the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Improvement Commission and "Visit Fergus Falls", as well as hearing from the new Mayor Ben Scheierer.

University of Minnesota, Crookston

Kim Gillette, Director of International Programs at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, visited my office this week to discuss her efforts to provide students with cross-cultural training and opportunities to study abroad. With more than 25 undergraduate degree programs offered to students from around the world, I appreciate Kim’s efforts to provide students with academic and intercultural support.

Legislative Update

USDA Ag Outlook Forum

On Thursday I addressed USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum via video message. The event is USDA’s largest annual meeting, providing agribusiness-related information to attendees. In my remarks I outlined the current downturn in the agriculture economy and expressed my hope that Congress would be able to pass a farm bill this year, outlining some of the issue areas like dairy and conservation that I think need to be addressed. I also discussed issues outside the work of the agriculture committee, like tax policy, that I am hopeful Congress can act on.

Keeping Medication Affordable

This week, I joined several of my colleagues in sending a letter to inquire about recent increases in the price of medication that reverses the overdose effects of opioids and save some people from dying. The growing opioid epidemic requires the immediate attention of Congress, and I will work to ensure that drug manufacturers reasonably price their products so that first responders and state health departments can keep our communities healthy.  


Minnesota Graduates to Attend U.S. Service Academies

Dylan Langan; Paul Johnson

I am honored to announce that two upcoming graduates from the Seventh Congressional District, Dylan Langan and Paul Johnson, who pursued a nomination through my office have been found fully qualified and have been offered Appointments to the Air Force and United State Naval Academy, respectively.

Dylan Langan is from Hutchinson and will be graduating from Hutchinson High School in May 2017. It is Dylan’s sincere desire to attend the Air Force Academy and pursue a vigorous academic course of study.

Paul Johnson is from Pennock, and will graduate from KMS High School, where he participated in football, track, wrestling, and baseball. His hard work as a student, a community member, and as a leader both on and off the field has warranted this nomination.

Attending a service Academy requires a minimum of five years of military service following graduation. I wish them the best of luck and great thanks for serving our nation.

National FFA Week

Every year, Future Farmers of America chapters all around the country celebrate National FFA Week. FFA week is designed to share with local, state, and national partners the educational benefits and lasting impact FFA makes on its members and their communities. For ways to participate, visit their website at:

This Week in American History

On February 19, 1902 the Minnesota State Legislature named the pink-and-white lady slipper (Cypripedium reginae) the state flower. This native wild orchid thrives in damp woods, swamps, and bogs. State law forbids picking the flower.

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 landmark is the only lake of its kind in Minnesota and draws hundreds of birdwatchers to its shores every year due to the unique plants and animals that live there.

Congratulations to Dave Engstrom of Moorhead for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Rourke Art Gallery in Moorhead!

Share your guess on our website –

Ashleigh Holmquist (FERGUS FALLS)