Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 5/4/2018

First turkey ever taken on my farm

Dear Friends,

With Congress in a District Work period this week, I took the time to meet with folks throughout the 7th District. I was proud to join in a ceremony recognizing David Kivisto of Dassel on his appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, upon my recommendation. I am appreciative of his dedication to serving our country. I also cosponsored the Volunteer Driver Tax Appreciation Act, which would ensure volunteer drivers are fairly compensated. Minnesota has a strong tradition of community service, whether in our military or through volunteerism. I am proud to support those who are working to better our communities.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Kivisto Appointed to Air Force Academy

(Left to right) Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Swanson, David Kivisto, Lieutenant Colonel Jesse Carlson

I was honored to nominate David Kivisto of Dassel to the United States Air Force Academy several months ago. This week, David accepted his appointment to the Air Force Academy.  David is the first student from Dassel-Cokato High School to receive an Academy appointment in the past 25 years. He follows the path of 1993 Dassel-Cokato graduate and Air Force Academy Alum Lieutenant Colonel Jesse Carlson.  Lieutenant Colonel Carlson currently serves as the Commander for the 133rd Maintenance Squadron of the Minnesota Air National Guard and has been deployed over a dozen times. David is an impressive young man and I am confident that he will do an outstanding job as he begins his career in service to our country.

“News and Views” with Joel Heitkamp

Tuesday morning, I called into AM 790 KFGO’s News and Views to speak with Joel Heitkamp. We discussed the Administration’s tariff and RFS proposals and how these changes will affect the agriculture market. I also explained my concerns with how the Administration is going forward with these initiatives without hearing from soybean, sorghum, and corn producers respectively. Many farmers are asking about trade and where they can expect to see their crop prices.

If you would like to listen to our full conversation, follow this link.

Northwest Minnesota Art Expo

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council hosted their first Arts Expo at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls on Tuesday. There were 140 submissions by local artists, demonstrating the rich culture of art and creativity in northwest Minnesota. I want to thank the Arts Council for their history of encouraging artists in our communities.


David Kragnes, Board Member

Access to credit is important to farmers and rural businesses alike to operate and grow. CoBank and other lenders with rural clients have a strong stake in the issues that impact the profitability of the agriculture sector. That is why some of their top priorities including protecting our access to foreign markets, ensuring a stable supply of labor to harvest crops, and protecting the farm safety net from cuts in the farm bill. David has a long history of advocating for agriculture in the Red River Valley and I appreciate his voice on these issues.

Ottertail Power Company

My staff attended a public meeting of Ottertail Power Company's initial study report of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) relicensure process for the Otter Tail River's hydroelectric project. Members of the public, state and federal agency representatives, and residents who could be impacted by changes, attended the meeting to share their concerns and provide input. The five-year process to relicense their five hydroelectric plants along the Otter Tail River began in 2016 and will continue until the FERC determines whether to relicense in 2021.

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Webinar Series

My staff assistant Meg Louwagie attended an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) webinar and was briefed on updates to ADA compliance in the work place and websites. If you have questions about ADA compliance, you can visit the following for more information: ADA Minnesota,, or the Minnesota Council on Disability

Legislative Update

Volunteer Driver Tax Appreciation Act

This week I cosponsored the Volunteer Driver Tax Appreciation Act with Representative Rick Nolan, which would boost the IRS federal reimbursement rates for charitable drivers from 14 cents to 54.5 cents per mile. It’s my belief that we have a responsibility to help serve those who have served us. This measure will help reduce the financial stresses for volunteers who assist seniors across the country. I will continue efforts in improving services for all seniors.

You can read more about it in my press release here.


Small Business Week

National Small Business Week is the week of April 29-May 5. Small businesses make up more than 95 percent of all employers, employing over 57 million people in the United States. It is vital for Congress to promote the policies small businesses need to be successful, because all Americans will benefit from their innovations and job creating power.

Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website to learn more about National Small Business Week and to find resources for your own small business.

This Week in American History

Sinclair Lewis, 1915

On May 1, 1926, Sauk Centre's Sinclair Lewis declined the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Arrowsmith (1925), saying that awards inhibit creativity and make writers lazy. Some of Lewis’s successful works include: Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott (1920), Babbitt (1922) and Mantrap (1926). In 1930, Lewis would become the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, an honor he accepted.

What’s the Story?

Coins have long been used to commemorate events, groups, or achievements. Some organizations produce coins as a cheap, long-lasting way to promote a cause or reward success. In the military, unique challenge coins are given to members of units who sometimes use them to prove their membership when “challenged” by another member. Challenge coins are often traded by individuals as a sign of comradery or partnership. I have collected several challenge coins throughout my life. The ones shown here are in my office in Washington, D.C.

Swift County