Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 6/2/2017

A storefront in Lac Qui Parle County

Dear Friends,

It's been a busy week at home in Minnesota’s Seventh District, and I was honored to join Pelican Rapids in their Memorial Day event to recognize those brave soldiers who defended our freedom with their lives. I also visited the North Ottawa Impoundment site near Tintah to discuss improving our rural watershed and spent today in Hutchinson taking part in their annual Dairy Days celebration.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Memorial Day event

Photo courtesy of Pelican Rapids Press

On Monday I was pleased to attend the Pelican Rapids Memorial Day ceremony. With more than 400 people in attendance, the ceremony was a solemn example of a community coming together to honor our fallen heroes. When I served on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, I worked to encourage offices to display a black POW-MIA flag. These are now flown in nearly every office in Washington D.C. My hope is that this will help us remember to honor the members of our armed services, not just on Memorial Day, but throughout the year.

Dairy Days

Today I was in Hutchinson to attend Dairy Days, one of my favorite summer pastimes. This annual event is held in Library Square had music, children activities, the Cow Milking Contest, live animals, and an antique tractor on display. Dairy Days is a salute to local dairy farmers, and it was great to talk with folks in McLeod County on a perfect day for barbeque.

North Ottawa Impoundment

On Thursday I visited the North Ottawa Impoundment site near Tintah and went on the air with Joel Heitkamp of KFGO to talk about the flood control and natural resource enhancement project. The project is a 3 square mile impoundment constructed to capture runoff from extreme events on the Rabbit River. It can store up to 18,210 acre-feet of water storage. When not in use for flood control, it is managed for agricultural production and wildlife habitat. In addition to the flood control and wildlife benefits, the project also helps improve water quality and stream flow management. The Bois de Sioux Watershed District used local, state and federal dollars to plan and construct the project and it has been a great example for how water retention can help with flooding while providing natural resource enhancements.

You can learn more online:

Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership

This week, Richard Lee of my staff met with Chelsea Alger of Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, along with representatives of Community Action groups within the Twin Cities area, who were in town participating in the People and Places conference discussing housing and community development needs throughout the country. I have enjoyed working with SMHP over the years to provide affordable housing options to western Minnesota, and I will continue to do everything I can so we can implement policies that provide the housing infrastructure rural America needs to thrive.

SNAP-Ed Cooking Class

On Thursday evening, my staff participated in the University of Minnesota's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) "Cooking Matters" class that was held in Detroit Lakes. Cooking Matters is a six-week cooking-based nutrition program that helps people to eat healthier and make better use of their food resources. The course is taught by a volunteer chef and a nutrition educator and covers meal preparation, grocery shopping, food budgeting and nutrition.

SNAP Nutrition Education is funded through a block grant to each state based on caseload. Since 1992, Minnesota has received $7.9 million to provide education to families who receive SNAP benefits. The University of Minnesota Extension educators do a great job helping families to eat healthier.

Zonta International

Debra and Shelley visited with my staff aide Zach Martin to discuss empowering women through equal rights at home and abroad and combating sexual assault at college campuses. Debra also owns a resort in the Northwest Angle and updated Zach on the new border security pilot program initiated in the Lake of the Woods region.

Airport Safety in the 7th District

What may look like a crash is actually a public safety exercise in Thief River Falls designed to help our community respond more effectively in the event of an emergency. Several fire fighters got first-hand training on airport safety utilizing the above simulator. I am thankful for all of the brave first responders who work tirelessly to keep us safe.

Wells Technology Inc.

This week my staff met with Andrew Wells, founder of Wells Technology Inc., and toured their facility north of Bemidji. Wells Technology Inc. manufacturers aerospace, electronic, defense, medical, and automotive equipment, such as the solar panels shown above, which generate one-third more energy because they move with the sun rather than being stationary. Wells serves as a proud example of native-led innovation and community betterment through their affiliated Wells Academy, which provides job training and opportunities for economically disadvantaged people.

Minnesota Brewers Association

Members of the Minnesota Brewers Association stopped by the office on Thursday to discuss their industry. Minnesota craft brewery industry has a $1.3 billion economic impact for the state. With a strong presence throughout the state, craft breweries are a vibrant and flourishing economic force in Minnesota. People continue to seek a wide range of high quality, full-flavored beers, small and independent craft brewers are meeting this growing demand with innovative offerings, creating high levels of economic value in the process.

This Week in American History

On May 31, 1853, Isaac Stevens and his surveying crew left Minneapolis to plot a rail route to Puget Sound. This route would serve as the foundation for the Northern Pacific Railroad, which was approved by Congress in 1864, and constructed in 1870. Covering nearly 40 Million acres of land grants, this transcontinental railroad shipped wheat and other farm products, cattle, timber, minerals, consumer goods, and passengers throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and even into Winnipeg.

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 landmark was built in 1870, and is the oldest house in its hometown still on its original site…

Congratulations to Peter Gallatin of Detroit Lakes for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the statue of “Lou T. Fisk” in Madison!

Share your guess on our website –

“Man At Gathering”
Diane Jensen (WESTBROOK)