Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 3/1

Mar 1, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Veterans


U.S. Botanic Garden "Spring Collection"


Dear Friends,

It was good to see so many Minnesotans visiting our nation's capital this week, and I appreciated them taking the time to stop by my office.  From veterans to farmers to broadcasting stations, many of the folks that I met with represent organizations that play an important role in rural communities like the 7th.  Earlier in the week I also joined Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson as we spoke to the National Potato Council.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Northern Plains Potato Growers Association

Chuck Gunnerson (President/CEO, EAST GRAND FORKS), Michael Sitzmann, Keith McGovern, Justin Dagen (KARLSTAD), Brian Vculek, Ben Tucker

Members of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) from Minnesota and North Dakota spoke with me about the potato industry. The Red River Valley is the nation's third largest potato-producing area in the nation.  The NPPGA works for its potato growers in the areas of research, promotion and marketing, communication, and legislation.  The NPPGA today has approximately 250 grower members.

American Legion

Jane and Merlin Elefson (DAWSON), Tom Burau (FERGUS FALLS), David Heidebrink (HUTCHINSON)

I had a good discussion with the folks from the American Legion about the state of Veterans Affairs and the importance of making sure our country protects and assists those who have served it with honor.

National Potato Council

On Tuesday I joined Idaho Representative Mike Simpson for a bipartisan discussion on “How to Get Things Done in a Dysfunctional Congress,” before members of the National Potato Council. I discussed the fate of the farm bill, providing a recap of what happened last year and the outlook for a new bill this year, and urged NPC members to call on all members of Congress to get a bill done during this session.


Terry Ebeling (Board Member), Paul DeBriyn (CEO), Kevin Koppendrayer (Board Member), Bill McCue (Board Member), David Kretzschmar (Board Member), and Dale Holmgren (Board Member)

This week AgStar brought a number of board members to visit Washington D.C. and speak with their representatives and agencies handling agriculture issues.  During our meeting on Wednesday afternoon they addressed the importance of Congress passing a five-year farm bill and raised concerns over loan guarantees being held up by the Office of Management and Budget.

National Association of Farm State Agency County Office Employees (NASCOE)

Crystal Foltz (DETROIT LAKES) and Kelly Turgeon (HALLOCK)

NASCOE also had a group of members in Washington D.C. this week visiting with their representatives.  I met with two of their members who live in the 7th District about issues impacting those who work in agriculture.

Prairie Public Broadcasting

John E. Harris, III, (President and CEO) and Dan Buchanan (Chairman of the Board)

I met with representatives from Prairie Public Broadcasting to talk about funding for local public broadcasting stations.  They work to ensure universal access to noncommercial, high-quality programming and telecommunications services for the American public, which is especially important in rural areas like the 7th District.

This Week in American History

The iconic image above taken during the battle for Iwo Jima has become a strong symbol of American resolve and bravery, and many may be surprised to learn the role a Minnesota native played just moments before this famous photograph was taken.  On February 23rd, 1945, five marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman were photographed raising an American flag over the highest point on the island during the end of World War II. When the picture was taken, U.S. forces were only 650 miles away from Tokyo, Japan. The Pulitzer Prize winning photograph was taken by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal after he quickly took the shot of the U.S. flag being raised over the island. Only three of the six men survived the battles on Iwo Jima. However, the famous picture above was actually the second time a United States flag was flown over Iwo Jima. Just hours before, Minnesota native Charles W. Lindberg and another group of U.S. marines hoisted a smaller U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi. Although Rosenthal’s picture received fame, it was Silver Star winner Charles Lindberg and his marines who first claimed Iwo Jima for the United States. Charles Lindberg’s name is carved in the Veterans memorial in Richfield, MN after he passed away in 2007.