Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 5/8/2015

May 8, 2015


Dear Friends,

A better understanding of the origin and behavior of avian influenza is critical to helping combat its spread. I visited the Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory at the University of Minnesota this week to discuss the sampling process and how to interpret the results. In Washington, my staff welcomed advocates of upcoming legislation that I support to improve access to healthcare in the 7th and accelerate research for breast cancer. Also included in this newsletter is a statistical examination of the nation’s social insurance and welfare programs from the Social Security Administration.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory

Dr. Jim Collins (Director, University of Minnesota VDL), Trevor Ames (Dean, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine)

With the continued spread of avian influenza in poultry, federal and state officials are working together to help producers and communities grappling with the economic and personal impact of this outbreak. One ongoing challenge has been the need to quickly and accurately test thousands of samples brought in by poultry producers and state officials. That is why I visited Dr. Jim Collins and Dr. Trevor Ames at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory this week. Whether the samples are from poultry producers, hunters, or government officials, knowing where the disease is can help people make better decisions to help stop its spread and limit its damage.

Minnesota Hospitals

On Wednesday, my staff aide Natalie Winters met with healthcare providers from across the 7th District to discuss ways we can continue to work to improve access to hospitals in rural areas and find ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality care. This Congress I have cosponsored a number of bills that will achieve these goals, including the Critical Access Hospital Relief Act (H.R. 169), the Rural Hospital Access Act (H.R. 663), and legislation to improve the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (H.R. 1343).

Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition

On Tuesday, my staff aide Natalie Winters met with advocates from the Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition during their annual summit. One of their biggest priorities this Congress is passing H.R. 1197, the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act, which I have cosponsored. This legislation seeks to establish a Commission to end breast cancer by the year 2020.

City of Moorhead

Del Rae Williams (Mayor, MOORHEAD)

This week, my staff aide Adam Durand met with Mayor Del Rae Williams from the City of Moorhead. In the meeting they discussed a number of water issues impacting the City of Moorhead, including flood protection for Fargo, and some of the issues for the city. One area related to flood protection that I continue to be focused on is how these plans would impact farmers and work with farm safety net programs like crop insurance. In addition to talking water, the mayor also discussed some of the exciting growth trends in the city, from the number of new construction permits to the increasing number of students in Moorhead schools.

Dorrich Dairy

Anna, Erik, Katy, Suzanne, and Brad Vold (GLENWOOD)

The Brad and Suzanne Vold family stopped by my Washington office as part of their trip to DC to receive a sustainability award.  The Volds are fourth-generation dairy producers at Dorrich Dairy, a 400-cow farm near Glenwood, MN.  Their innovative integrated pest management system led them to receiving the 2015 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award. The Vold family also talked to my staff aides Rebekah Solem and Mary Knigge about other issues of importance to them, such as trade, GMO labeling, and school nutrition.


Social Security Statistical Supplement

The Annual Statistical Supplement, prepared by the Social Security Administration, summarizes and statistically analyzes the nation’s social insurance and welfare programs. The annual report, released this week, has helped guide research, policy, and proposals since its first publication in 1940.

Discovering the 7th

The Heritage and Wind Power Center of Southwest Minnesota, operated by the Lake Benton Historical Society, collects and preserves historical information and artifacts from the Lake Benton area. With more than 600 wind turbines operating in the region, Lake Benton is known to some as the “Original Wind Power Capital of the Midwest.” The attached Wind Power Learning Center offers interactive wind power displays and tours of local wind farms.

This Week in American History

The surrender of German troops to Allied powers on May 8th, 1945, brought an end to the European Theater of World War II. Once formally accepted, the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany inspired celebrations throughout the world that continue to this day. During this week’s historic 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, Washington commemorated the end of the conflict with a vintage WWII aircraft flyover on the National Mall.=

Visitors from the District

Tim Lang (VILLARD), Mary and Ralph Lang (VILLARD), Bruce and Martha Harvey (VILLARD), Todd and Michelle Stephenson (FARMINGTON), Brian and Melissa Fingerson (BRECKENRIDGE)

Mr. and Mrs. Ruppert (VERGAS)

Suzanne, Katy, Anna, Erik, and Brad Vold (GLENWOOD)

Melissa Peterson (MOORHEAD), Paul Walker (Norway), Charles Peterson (MOORHEAD)

Peyton Svegdahl (STRATHCONA)
2015 Congressional Art Competition