Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 2/3/2017

Downtown Benson

Dear Friends,

As we look ahead to the next farm bill, it is important to hear diverse, on-the-ground input from producers and stakeholders. This week, the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, the National Sorghum Producers and the Minnesota Barley Growers visited my Washington office to discuss farm bill policies. My staff visited with the North Country Food Bank to learn about their community efforts to feed the hungry, and I announced the 20 Democratic Members who will be serving on the Agriculture Committee this Congress. I look forward to working with the Agriculture Committee members on both sides of the aisle to develop good farm and food policy for Minnesota.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Minnesota Rural Electric Association

On Tuesday, I spoke to members of the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) about keeping energy costs down in our rural communities. MREA provides affordable and reliable electricity through several rural cooperatives in the district. I also submitted a statement for the Congressional Record to recognize three power linemen from Lake Region Electric Cooperative in Pelican Rapids who volunteered three weeks of their time to build transmission lines in Haiti.

Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers

I met with several members of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers on Wednesday. We had a good discussion about the issues facing the next farm bill, including adjustments to commodity programs like ARC/PLC, changing the limits on conservation programs and possible cuts to crop insurance. They also presented me with the Wheat Advocate Award, which I was honored to receive. I look forward to working with the wheat growers and farmers of all crops to pass a farm bill that works for everyone.

National Sorghum Producers

I met with nearly twenty sorghum producers from around the country on Thursday. Sorghum production is increasingly becoming popular in Minnesota, with more farmers working it into their rotation. The sorghum producers shared their farm bill priorities and we talked about how we can write a new farm bill that works for growers around the country.

Minnesota Barley Growers

Two members of the Minnesota Barley Growers visited my office on Tuesday. We talked about what needs to be done to improve conservation and commodity programs in the next farm bill.

National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota

Members of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota visited my office this week to discuss their priorities in the new Congress. 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.

Minnesota School Boards Association

This week, members of my staff met with representatives of the Minnesota School Boards Association. They came to highlight their concerns with implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced No Child Left Behind, school lunch program regulations and the outlook for the Education Department under the new administration.

Veterans Town Hall Meeting Sioux Falls

My staff assistant Meg Louwagie attended a Veterans Town Hall meeting this week in Sioux Falls, S.D. There was a good turnout of veterans from Minnesota and South Dakota who had the opportunity to listen and direct questions to Network Director Murphy, Sioux Falls VAH Director Goodspeed and Sioux Falls Regional Benefits Office Director Bohn. Ms. Murphy discussed many topics including the Ten Point Plan for Veterans promised by President Trump and the appointment of David Shulkin as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Director Goodspeed gave an overview of the $65 million in construction currently going on at the VAH and the hiring freeze. Director Bohn also discussed the hiring freeze and how his office is handling claims.

North Country Food Bank

North Country has successfully distributed food across the region for more than 32 years and is still operating out of the old Bridgeman's Dairy building in Crookston. North Country Food Bank serves 21 counties in northwest and west central Minnesota and parts of Grand Forks. It is the sole distributor of surplus quality food and non-food products to more than 230 charitable food programs including soup kitchens, food shelves, homeless shelters, low-income individuals, senior community centers, after-school programs, domestic abuse programs and addiction treatment centers. In 2014, North Country distributed more than 7 million pounds of food and received more than 2 million pounds in local food donations from manufacturers and agricultural suppliers. With a team of more than 1500 volunteers, our hat goes off to you. Keep up the great work feeding those who are hungry. For more info contact:

Legislative Update

Congressional Review Act

This week the House voted on a number of resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act. I supported a number of these resolutions that would require the Administration to stop over-burdensome or duplicative regulations which make it more difficult for businesses to operate. One rule would have singled out U.S. mining companies requiring excessive reporting requirements on their operations in foreign countries, and another would adds additional regulations hurting the coal mining industry. Eliminating these rules is a start to the necessary process of streamlining the regulations that have slowed down growth. I was also a cosponsor of a resolution to block a rule that would have made it possible for the Social Security Administration to prevent seniors from purchasing a gun in a rushed rule that was only finalized in the last days of the Obama Administration. These midnight rules don’t allow the transparency that Americans deserve when such important issues are at stake.

Rural Hospital Regulatory Relief Act of 2017

This week, I co-sponsored H.R. 741, the Rural Hospital Regulatory Relief Act of 2017. This legislation would eliminate burdensome and costly regulations that prevent rural practitioners from administering certain services without direct supervision from a physician. I will continue to support measures that provide licensed and skilled health professionals the flexibility they need to serve patients in rural communities.


Agriculture Committee Membership

In January, I announced the 20 Democrats appointed to serve on the House Agriculture Committee in the 115th Congress, including Representatives Walz and Nolan of Minnesota. This week Committee Democrats met to select Subcommittee Ranking Members, with Nolan selected as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. Also this week, the full Committee held a business meeting to officially organize for the 115th Congress.

This Week in American History

On February 3, 1842 Knute Nelson was born in Norway. In 1871, he moved to Alexandria and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1883. Following his service in the House, Nelson became Minnesota’s 12th Governor in 1893, making him the first Scandinavian-born governor in U.S. history. He would later serve in the U.S. Senate, where he helped pass legislation to create the U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor.

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 was built in 2012 as a place to honor those who have served in our military…

Congratulations to Josh Benigna of Madison for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Yellow Medicine County Courthouse in Granite Falls!

Share your guess on our website –

Katrina Broten (PRINSBURG)