Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 6/13/2014

American flag, 1929


Dear Friends,

This week, I returned to Washington and met with Agri-Women and Cenex Harvest States to discuss ways to improve conditions for farmers and better integrate energy throughout rural MN. I sat down with folks from the utilities and manufacturing industries, the MN Chamber of Commerce, and National Association of Manufacturers to discuss tax reform and find ways to continue to bring jobs to hard-working Minnesotans. I also highlighted the need to provide accessibility to clean water to Minnesota communities in need, and there is an important update regarding legal services for victims of military sexual assault. Finally, June is Dairy Month, so we take a moment to thank farmers in MN for their continued work, which benefits not only Minnesotans, but people around the country.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson

Minnesota 7th District

MN Utility Contractors Association

Bill Quintus (ESS Brothers & Sons, Inc.), President Lee Sunram (Sunram Construction), Stephanie Menning (Executive Director)

On Tuesday I met with the Minnesota Utility Contractors Association. One of their main priorities is to support job training in high schools and tech schools, ensuring that workers have the proper skill sets to fill available jobs. We also discussed the importance of making sure that government regulators are aware of the impact that their decisions have on the private sector.


Alisha Nord (WOLVERTON), Karolyn Zurn (President of MN Agri-Women, CALLAWAY), Jodi Boe (Golden Valley)

I met with members of the American Agri-Women coalition to discuss agriculture and energy issues. Comprised entirely of volunteers, American Agri-Women is the largest coalition of farm, ranch, and agribusiness women in the nation. 

Cenex Harvest States

Carl Casale (President & CEO, St. Paul), Curt Eischens (Minneota), Alan Holm (Sleepy Eye), David Johnsrud (STARBUCK)

I sat down with CHS to discuss a number of important agriculture, energy, and transportation issues. Headquartered in Minnesota and owned by farmers and cooperatives across the United States, CHS is a major player in international agribusiness.  According to its vision statement, CHS seeks to be a “globally integrated energy, grains and foods system that innovatively links producers with consumers.”

National Association of Manufacturers

Brian Spencer (CR Industries),Bill Libro (Minnesota Power), Jason Grev (Ecolab), Alicia Meads (CF Industries)

On Wednesday I visited with members of the National Association of Manufacturers. We discussed the state of manufacturing in Minnesota, reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, the importance for local businesses in competing within a global marketplace, and why tax reform is necessary to allow businesses to plan for future expansions and investments.

Equipment Leasing and Finance Association

Dave Verkinderen (US Bank, MARSHALL), William Henak (TCF Equipment Finance, Woodbury), Dan Nelson (Tamarack, Woodbury)

This week I met with ELFA to discuss credit and financing in the farm and manufacturing equipment industries, and labor and tax laws impacting businesses across industries and the U.S. I applaud businesses such as these that drive growth through financing the costly inputs businesses require to succeed.

MN Chamber

Michael Lehmann (Ferguson Plumbing), LaTisha Gietzen (Polymet Mining), Randy Reinke (President & CEO of Custom Products, LITCHFIELD), Jan Kruchoski, Clifton Larson Allen, Stephanie Laitala-Rupp (OWL Bookkeeping & CFO Services), Jennifer Byers (MN Chamber), Doug Loon (US Chamber), Brad Meier (Twin West Chamber), Jason Bernick (St. Cloud), Luke Litteken (Center Point Energy)

Thursday, I met with representatives of the US and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. We discussed how immigration reform, transportation funding, tax reform, energy policy and a skilled labor force are important issues to businesses throughout the state. Congressional leadership needs to understand that businesses need certainty in public policy in order to make business decisions and have us legislate from one crisis to the next.

In March I received the Spirit of Enterprise from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For more information about the award, visit

Lewis & Clark Regional Water System

On Thursday I met with Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Representative Tim Walz, and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to continue to press the Administration to complete the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System (LCRWS). During the meeting, we highlighted the need for the Administration to make good on its commitment and provide the funding necessary to connect Minnesota communities in need of water.

Whether the water is used in people’s homes or by our agriculture and manufacturing sectors, Minnesotans need to have a reliable and affordable supply of clean water. That is why this project is so important to the economic development of the region, and why I will continue to work with the Minnesota delegation and the Governor to push the Administration to complete this project that will bring water to a number of communities like Pipestone, Tyler, and Marshall.

June is Dairy Month

Milking a cow in HUTCHINSON, visiting with the McLeod Dairy Court, visiting Skyview Farm in HUTCHINSON, chatting with Daryl Luthens

Last Friday, I visited and toured Skyview Farm during Hutchinson Dairy Days. Daryl started Skyview Farm with just 11 cows, but now milks over 1,000.

June is National Dairy Month and began as National Milk month in 1937 as a means of promoting milk consumption and stabilizing dairy demand when production was at a surplus. It has since developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the worldwide contributions of the dairy industry. At the heart of this important economic engine are MN dairy farmers. This month is dedicated to recognizing their commitment to ensuring the availability of healthy and nutritious dairy products.

Military Matters

Push for Full Assistance for Victims of Sexual Assault

On Thursday I joined the MN Delegation in calling for the U.S. Army to ensure that the Minnesota National Guard can fully assist victims of sexual assault. The Army released a directive which expanded legal services for victims of military sexual assault, but the directive fails to cover Guard members who become victims of sexual assault outside of their drill weekend or military duty.

As a strong support of the MN National Guard, it is crucial that the military has all the tools necessary to prevent sexual assault and assist survivors. The critical services provided by the military should be accessible to all MN servicemembers in the aftermath of a sexual assault. Clearer guidance from the Army is needed so the National Guard can effectively provide services authorized by Congress.

Legislative Update

Water Resources Reform and Development Act

On Tuesday, the President signed the WRRDA bill. The WRDDA conference report passed the House on May 20, and the Senate on May 22. This bill is important for many projects in the 7th District, including Roseau's East Diversion that is now on schedule to be completed in the fall of 2015. For more information on WRRDA, please visit

Flag Day

“America 2000” Peter Max print in my Rayburn Office

June 14th, National Flag Day, was established in 1916 through presidential proclamation under the Wilson Administration to commemorate the adoption of the stars and stripes as the official flag of the United States. A 1777 resolution, adopted by the Continental Congress on June 14th, decreed that the flag be “thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Since, many Americans enjoy the opportunity to both display and celebrate the American flag, of which there have been 27 official versions. The current 50-star version has been in use the longest, since 1960. For information regarding the “Star-Spangled Banner,” please visit

This Week in American History

On June 12, 1946, the Minnesota Historical Society accepted a grant from the Weyerhaeuser family to establish the Forest Products History Foundation. The foundation, initially located in St. Paul, MN, later developed into an international organization known as the Forest History Society. The Society continues to preserve and interpret any documents pertaining to the nation’s forest and conservation history.

Visitors from the 7th

Jerome, Brenda, Erika, and Abby Feigum (PAYNESVILLE), Ed, Mandy, Ryan and Elliot Musielewicz (DETROIT LAKES), Joe and Samantha Koktan (MARSHALL), Helen Lester (SILVER LAKE), Anna Koktan (Chaska), and Phil Koktan (Eden Prairie)

Becka Kimpling (CLARA CITY)
2014 Congressional Art Competition