Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 4/28/2017

Late season snowfall in parts of the 7th this week

Dear Friends,

Our rural economy depends on small businesses, energy development, and the success of our farmers and ranchers. This week, I welcomed several group to my office to discuss strengthening Minnesota’s rural economy in Minnesota, including the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Southwest Council of Agribusiness, the National Cotton Council, American Rental Association, and Minnesota State Grange. I also joined some of my House colleagues to talk about policies that benefit rural America with the newly sworn in U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Finally, I would like to thank all who attended my town hall in Willmar this weekend and I appreciated the chance to speak with so many of you.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Secretary Perdue Hosts Bipartisan Breakfast with House Agriculture Leaders

Secretary Perdue, Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway, Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Bishop, and Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Aderholt

Yesterday I joined newly confirmed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue and fellow House agriculture leaders to discuss the important role agriculture and rural America play in our economy. I am hopeful Secretary Perdue will be a voice in the Administration who can advocate for rural America. There is a lot of work ahead of us including reauthorizing the farm bill, maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard and rolling back some of the regulations that are negatively impacting farmers. I look forward to finding bipartisan solutions that put American agriculture first.

Willmar Town Hall

On Saturday, I hosted a bipartisan town hall meeting with State Rep. Dave Baker of Willmar, and State Sen. Andrew Lang of Olivia. The meeting, held at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center near Spicer, addressed a wide range of topics including the opioid crisis, health care, immigration, foreign affairs, and energy issues. Around 50 people attended this event, which coincided with an Earth Day event held at Prairie Woods.

Link to story:

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

It was an honor to be presented with NRECA’s Distinguished Service Award on Tuesday. As a long-time supporter of electric cooperatives that provide reliable and affordable electricity to constituents in my district, I have worked over the years to advocate for full funding for the Rural Utilities Service and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. These are important programs which help our electric cooperatives maintain their infrastructure and provide relief to low-income ratepayers.

Agriculture Journalists

I met with members of the North American Agricultural Journalists on Tuesday morning to discuss farm bill reauthorization, budget, and trade issues. NAAJ is a professional, international group of agricultural editors and writers organized in 1952 to promote the highest ideals of journalism and agricultural coverage. My band, The Second Amendments, played at the group’s Monday evening reception and awards dinner.

AgWeek coverage:

Gray TV: What does the future hold for CRP?

I sat down with Gray TV Washington Bureau correspondent Samantha-Jo Roth on Thursday to discuss the future of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). I have advocated increasing program acres while also making reforms to the program in the next farm bill.

Video here:

Interview with Chris Berg

Valley News Live is enjoyed by many folks in western Minnesota. On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Berg. The interview covered current events in Washington such as the Executive Order on agriculture and rural issues, the confirmation of Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture, and the dairy trade dispute with Canada. I acknowledged the challenges dairy farmers are facing and my optimism that this problem can be solved. I always enjoy the opportunity to speak with Chris to provide a common sense voice for Minnesota.

You can watch my interview online here:

MN Bankers Association

Joe Witt, Erik Gandrud (Glenwood), Steve Dagget (DETROIT LAKES), Ivan Van Essen (Tracy)

This week I met with Representatives from the Minnesota Bankers Association. We had a wonderful meeting discussing proposals to reform out tax code and potential reforms to Dodd-Frank regulations. I hope we can work together to come up with a bipartisan solution so banks can continue to provide the access to capital needed to jumpstart our economy and continue growth for Western Minnesota.

National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

This week I met with representatives of the mutual insurance industry to discuss a number of issues including flood and disaster mitigation, crop insurance, and even the Fargo/Moorhead diversion project. I was fortunate to have again been awarded their Benjamin Franklin Award, presented to legislators who demonstrate consistent support of free and fair market insurance. I will continue to work toward implementing sensible policies that enable consumers to obtain meaningful but affordable insurance.

Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals

This week I met with Trish Perry of New London/Spicer Middle School and Dr. Beth Borgen of Red Wing School District to discuss issues pertinent to Secondary School Principals. Providing excellent education to our youth is of the utmost importance, and I will continue to work to provide the resources so our principals and those on the front lines of teaching our students can meet their needs.


Today, I met with Dr. Aaron Doering, who teaches at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Doering has recently been awarded a CHS Foundation grant to bring agriculture into classrooms over the next 4 years through an online adventure learning program. He will be traveling around the world to interview people while showcasing the daily ins and outs of all facets of agriculture. You can find out more on their website:

CMS Administrator Verma

I met with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma this week to discuss her vision for the agency in the new Administration. Administrator Verma expressed her interest in helping restore affordability to Minnesota’s individual insurance market, and I was encouraged to hear that she plans to reduce burdensome regulations and support telehealth services in rural communities. I look forward to working with Administrator Verma to provide the resources and flexibility that patients and health professionals need in the 7th District.

American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota (ACEC/MN) visited my office this week to discuss the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). I recently signed a letter urging the Ways and Means Committee to develop a long-term solution to the HTF budget deficit, and will continue to support efforts to promote infrastructure investment toward a safe, modern, and efficient transportation network.

Southwest Council of Agribusiness

I met with a large group from the Southwest Council of Agribusiness on Wednesday. We discussed the trade and farm policy challenges that the agriculture industry faces in their part of the country.

National Cotton Council

On Wednesday, a few members of the National Cotton Council came by my office. Cotton farmers find themselves in a particularly difficult time, with low prices for their crops and no federal programs that provide a meaningful safety net.

MN United Snowmobilers Association

This week I met with representatives of the MN United Snowmobilers Association. We discussed fuel standards, funding and trail access issues, including one outside of Gyrgla. As a former snowmobile racer and outdoorsmen, I will continue to work so Minnesotans can enjoy our state’s wonderful natural habitat.

Minnesota State Grange

On Monday, my staff aide Rebekah Solem met with leaders of the State Grange of Minnesota, T.J. Malaskee (Master and President) and Ashley Wyatt (Director of Legislative Programs). The group was in town for the National Grange Fly-In and talked about issues affecting rural America, including broadband, immigration, trade policies, and the next farm bill. The National Grange was founded in 1867 and is America’s oldest general farm organization.

Equipment Rental Small Business Owners

Kevin Usher and Brittany Vruno, members of the American Rental Association and small business owners, met with my staff to discuss tax reform proposals that help Congress focus on simplifying our tax system for all American businesses. They also discussed how investment in infrastructure projects will have significant impact on the U.S. economy and their businesses in particular. In Minnesota alone, roughly $600 million is added to our economy from the equipment rental industry which employs close to 7,000 people.

Promotional Products Association International

Members of the promotional product industry stopped by my office to discuss tax reform proposals. Promotional products are logos or imprinted items that educate, recruit, and/or highlight safety awareness, and are communication mediums like newspapers advertisements, TV commercials, and word-of-mouth advertising. The industry's economic footprint amounts to roughly $1 billion and supports more than 22,000 jobs nationwide.

Education Minnesota

Education Minnesota provides excellent services to our public schools’ teachers and staff. Representatives and members from the district met with my staff on Thursday in Detroit Lakes. They expressed their concerns over the future of Minnesota’s education, healthcare, workforce, and the impacts of possible tax reform. Hearing from constituents and leaders in their respected fields continues to aid me in making tough decisions in Washington.


Nominate a Veteran in Your Community for the 2017 Veterans’ Voices Award

The Veterans’ Voices Award of the Minnesota Humanities Center celebrates men and women veterans who are creating, leading, and building their communities beyond their military service. The Humanities Center is accepting nominations today through May 19 for its 2017 Veterans’ Voices Award, which honors exceptional Minnesota veterans who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. This is an excellent opportunity to highlight veterans who are active in your community through their profession and/or through volunteerism. Since 2013, 10 veterans from 10 communities in the 7th Congressional district have been selected as Veterans’ Voices awardees.

The Humanities Center invites nominations of candidates who are actively engaged former or current military service members who are making significant, positive contributions and who fall into one of two categories: On the Rise (40 and under) or Legacy (over 40). Nominations must be accompanied by a narrative describing why the veteran is being nominated. All nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 19, 2017. For nominate a veteran for the Veterans’ Voices Award and information on past Veterans’ Voices awardees visit

The awards will be presented at the fifth annual Veterans’ Voices Award Ceremony that will be held at the Anderson Student Center on the campus of St. Thomas University in St. Paul on September 11, 2017.

This Week in American History

On April 26, 1896 the 26th governor of Minnesota, Edward J. Thye, was born. Notably, Thye was the first farmer to hold the office of Governor in Minnesota. During his term, he would reduce the state debt, increase old-age assistance, expand state institutions, establish a human rights commission, and approve a health-care plan for state employees. As a Republican Senator from 1947 to 1958, he would be one of seven to sign Margaret Chase Smith's "declaration of conscience" against Joseph McCarthy. He died at his farm near Northfield on August 28, 1969.

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 patriotic landmark stands over 20 stories tall, making it the second largest of its kind in the nation…

Congratulations to Jon Linnell of Warren for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Old Mill State Park in Argyle!

Share your guess on our website –

Genevieve May (HALSTAD)