Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 4/19

Apr 19, 2013 Issues: Veterans

Flag at half mast over Minnesota State Capitol

Dear Friends,

This week, our country faced tragedies in Boston and in Texas, and it is my hope that out of all this destruction and sadness we can come together and be even stronger as a nation.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all.  Winter storms raged on throughout the 7th District as a number of schools closed this week due to weather conditions.  As a result, the National Weather Service is raising the flood risk for the Red River Valley.  Minnesota Vets were honored this week at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC.  I was honored to receive the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for my votes on key business issues in the last Congress.  I also met with students and groups ranging from health organizations to family farmers.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


Flood Risk Elevated in Red River Valley

With the National Weather Service raising the flood risk for the Red River Valley, communities throughout the valley are preparing for yet another flood event. While I'm hopeful that a slow melt will alleviate the worst of the flooding, I also know that communities and homeowners are well-prepared and will do their best to protect life and property.

The Fargo-based International Water Institute has launched an app that will allow anyone to report flooding, snowpack, ice jams and the status of sandbag dikes. This information could help the National Weather Service and others to monitor conditions more closely.

More information on the app is available here:

Minnesota Veterans Honored at Memorial

This Wednesday nearly one hundred Minnesota veterans woke up at four in the morning to catch their flight from St. Cloud to Washington, D.C. Many of them have never seen the World War II, Vietnam, or Korean memorials which were built in honor of their incredible service. During their flight to Washington, each veteran received letters from family members and kids from local schools thanking them for being heroes. Many of them were unable to hold back tears as they read the letters. Once the veterans arrived at the World War II memorial, they gathered together once more to salute their friends and family back home. A folded U.S. flag and plaque was presented in front of the Minnesota column to pay tribute to their fellow veterans who could not be there. They visited the Vietnam and Korean memorials and Arlington National Cemetery before catching their evening flight back to St. Cloud.

Spirit of Enterprise Award

I'm proud to represent businesses in my district that help to keep our rural economy strong.  It was an honor to receive the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for my support of pro-jobs, pro-growth policies during the second session of the 112th Congress. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers.  The Chamber’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Award, in its 25th year, is given annually to members of Congress based on key business issues outlined in the Chamber publication How They Voted. According to the scorecard, I received a 100 percent rating with the Chamber this year.

“In the face of high-stakes politics and difficult choices, Congressman Peterson provided America’s job creators with a strong voice in Congress,” said Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “This award recognizes Congressman Peterson for consistently demonstrating his support for pro-growth policies.”

To learn more about the 2012 Spirit of Enterprise, please visit

Red Lake Students Visit DC

Students from Red Lake stopped by my office during their visit to the nation’s capital where we discussed issues pertaining to education back in Minnesota and ongoing congressional issues.

Life Link III

Life Link III John Huot (Manager, Strategic Business Development & Government Relations) and his son, Andrew Huot

On Thursday I met with John Huot from Life Link III, a non-profit consortium consisting of nine healthcare organizations which provides air transportation service for patients in Minnesota via helicopter and airplane ambulance.  The company provides on-scene emergency response and transport services with service available day or night, 365 days a year.  Life Link III has helicopter bases in Alexandria, Blaine, Hibbing and Hutchinson.  In October I had the opportunity to visit their base in Alexandria, and it was good to see firsthand the important work this association does in our communities.

Ducks Unlimited

Many of my congressional colleagues joined me at the Ducks Unlimited dinner on Tuesday

Photo courtesy of Tom Williams

This week I joined Ducks Unlimited for a dinner celebrating their organization.  Ducks Unlimited is the world's leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation, and the organization prides itself on an ability to work multilaterally through partnerships with private individuals, landowners, agencies, and scientific communities.

Ducks Unlimited was founded in Washington, D.C. 76 years ago with the goal of conserving habitats, and they welcomed guests to celebrate their conservation policy work at the annual dinner and auction. DU reached a milestone of conserving 13 million acres!

Egg Producers

I sat down to talk with egg producers Gary Forsman and Peter Forsman about issues facing the egg industry.  Forsman Farms is a fourth generation family farm located in Cokato.  The farm is eight miles from Waverly, the home of Hubert Humphrey who visited occasionally.

U of MN Crookston Ag Team Wins Honors

Congratulations to the University of Minnesota Crookston ag team who took a number of first-place finishes in the recent National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Judging Contest.  Twenty-nine UMC team members won sweepstakes in the four-year college division.  Competition categories included ag business, ag communication, ag computers, crops, dairy judging, horse judging, meat judging, knowledge bowl, livestock judging, livestock management, and soils.  The last time the NACTA Team from the U of M Crookston took sweepstakes was in 2010.  Great job UMC ag team!

BHS Show Choir Heads to National Finals

Bemidji High School's show choir Vocalmotive is preparing to travel to Chicago next week for the Show Choir National Championship Finals.  The group's 71 members will compete against 16 other schools for the top spot.  Best wishes to BHS as they compete on the national stage next weekend!

North American Deer Farmers Association

I met with Minnesota members of the North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA) to talk about issues facing deer farmers.  NADeFA seeks to promote deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit.

This Week in American History

On April 17th, 1970, the crew of the Apollo 13 safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after untested solutions ultimately saved the astronauts lives.  During a radio transmission to Earth, Astronaut John Swigert was reporting from the lunar spacecraft Apollo 13 when he said, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” Over 200,000 miles from Earth, Apollo 13 suffered a severe malfunction when an oxygen tank blew up without warning. Mission control and the astronauts struggled to come up with solutions because the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water had been damaged. The lunar landing mission was quickly canceled, but Apollo 13 was able to wrap around the moon to begin its journey back to the Earth’s atmosphere. On its return, the crew figured out how to navigate back home and provide the spacecraft with enough energy from the damaged fuel cells.