Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 5/4

May 4, 2012 Issues: Education



Dear Friend,

 This week, I hope you take a moment to check out some museums in the Seventh District in honor of Minnesota Museums Month.  It's getting close to county fair season in the district, and I'd like to showcase our young people involved in 4-H and FFA.  As we celebrate youth involved in public service, I'd also like to take a moment to acknowledge the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. 


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

 Minnesota Museums Month

The State of Minnesota is home to more than 600 museums, with at least one in every county.  This May we celebrate our museums through a number of events that will be held throughout Minnesota Museums Month.  As centers for Minnesota heritage, tourism, and volunteerism, many museums play important roles in their communities.  Museums of all types across the state are participating, including history, art, science, military, zoos, and arboretums. 

 Check out a "Museum Moment" from the Becker County Historical Society where Detroit Lakes resident Vicki Marthaler talks about the first computer I had at my accounting firm in the late 1970s.

Click HERE for a map of museums in the Seventh District and greater Minnesota

Click HERE to search for museums by city name

 4-H Auctions and County Fairs on the Horizon

The 4-Hs are: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health

Visiting the McLeod County Fair

 Every summer, thousands of 4-H kids participate in county fairs as they showcase their knowledge and skills while also educating the public about the subjects they've chosen.  To learn more about the county fairs in your area, visit

1960's: Young 4-H kids ride in an International Harvester Scout as they prepare for a parade in Moorhead

 In their early stages, many rural youth programs were a way to introduce new agriculture technology to communities.  The founding of 4-H was based on a desire to make public school education more connected to country life.  Today, 4-H is a youth development organization that serves rural, urban, and suburban communities in every state across the nation.

"4-H Camp at Capital is National Rally."
The National Boys and Girls Club News 5, no. 7 (June 15, 1927): 1

 From 1927-1956, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted an annual National 4-H Camp on its grounds in Washington D.C.  The purpose of the camp was to reward and develop leaders in the organization, acquaint members with their government, and provide an opportunity for discussion between state leaders from across the country.

 Today, 4-H holds a number of national events that members can participate in annually.  The 2012 National 4-H Conference takes place every spring at a 12-acre camp in Maryland, just a mile from the nation's capital.  4-H also holds a Citizenship Washington Focus program for youth ages 14-19 to strengthen their citizenship skills with hands-on learning while forming friendships with other 4-H youth from diverse backgrounds.

My former 4-H Advisor, Curtis Johnson, and his wife Dolores (Hawley) came to visit a few years ago

 Minnesota FFA

I spoke with two FFA members at the Stevens County Heritage Banquet in Morris on March 16

 Last week, students from across the state gathered at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities for the 2012 Minnesota FFA Convention.  Members kicked off the event with a Talent Show and Reflection Program at Mariucci Arena.  For the next three days, activities ranged from officer interviews to workshops and interactive displays. 

A group of FFA officers and members travel to Washington, D.C., where they are greeted on the White House lawn by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 With their navy blue corduroy jackets, FFA members are easily recognized students of agriculture.  A young group of farmers brought together students, teachers, and agribusiness to found the "Future Farmers of America" farmers in 1928.  In 1988, the official name of the organization was changed to "The National FFA Organization" to reflect the growing diversity of agriculture.  Today FFA members are encouraged to develop their own unique talents and explore a broad range of career opportunities through agricultural education.

This summer, the National FFA Washington Leadership Conference will take place in Washington D.C. in June and July.  FFA members from all over the United States will travel to our nation's capital to participate in this five-day event which teaches attendees how to become more effective leaders.  The conference offers a week of learning and service opportunities as students gain a better understanding of who they are and how they can become better leaders in their communities.

 Scouts News

Girl Scouts

Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, was recently selected to receive the Medal of Freedom as we celebrate the centennial of this important young girls' organization.  Ms. Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912, and the award is being offered to her posthumously.  This year the group celebrated their 100th Anniversary, calling 2012 "The Year of the Girl."  The Girl Scouts is now one of the largest educational organizations for young girls, claiming more than 50 million members.  In a month, Girl Scouts from Minnesota and across the nation will be in Washington D.C. to celebrate a century in scouting by participating in Girl Scouts Rock the Mall: 100th Anniversary Sing-Along.

 Boy Scouts

As we enjoy the spring season, many Boy Scouts from the Seventh District have been contacting me about their Eagle Scout achievement.  Eagle Scouts are a select group of individuals that are known for their strong values and goals.  In fact, those of Eagle Scout rank are known for their success at our nation's military academies.  To those who become Eagle Scouts this year, I offer my congratulations.