Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 6/29/2018

July 2, 2018

St. Hilaire in 1905 – Pennington County

Dear Friends,

This week, I met with USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson to talk about the condition of the farm economy in the United States. The Economist and I discussed markets for agricultural products and the effect the Administration’s tariffs will have on American producers. Sugarbeet growers from Minnesota met with me and shared their thoughts about trade, sugar policy, and the farm bill. I also met with a group of 4-H’ers who were in Washington for the National 4-H Council’s Citizenship Washington Focus leadership program. I was happy to answer their questions and hear their perspectives on government. I was impressed by their knowledge of important issues. I wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July next week!


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson

I met with United States Department of Agriculture Chief Economist and Minnesota native, Rob Johansson to discuss the current and projected state of the farm economy and current crop conditions. We also discussed the current market conditions for livestock and dairy, especially given the recent rapid declines in cheese markets. Dairy markets have been depressed for many months and the threat of additional tariffs from some of our major trading partners is not making the situation better. These issues are why I am continuing to work to build a better safety net for dairy farmers in the next farm bill and why I continue to ask the Administration to end trade policies that are hurting American farmers.

Red River Valley Sugarbeet Association

On Wednesday, a group of sugarbeet growers from Minnesota and North Dakota came by my office. We talked about the farm bill situation and what is happening with trade. The group thanked me for my work to soundly defeat the anti-sugar amendment to the farm bill. I will continue to push for a farm bill that strengthens the rural economy across the country.

National Biodiesel Board

Biodiesel creates demand and provides an important market for our soybean farmers, especially when the agriculture economy is hurting. Three soybean farmers visited my office to update me on efficiency improvements being made in biodiesel refineries.

Associated Builders and Contractors

I met with members of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) this week to discuss employee shortages in greater Minnesota. I appreciate ABC’s input as we work to provide rural communities with educational and job training opportunities to sustain a skilled and competitive workforce in the 7th District and beyond.

International Academy of Compound Pharmacists

Minnesotans from the International Academy of Compound Pharmacists visited my office this week to thank me for my support of the Preserving Patient Access to Compound Medications Act of 2017. This legislation will help improve patient access to medications which are tailored to an individual patient’s needs.

Manufactured and Modular Home Association of Minnesota

I welcomed the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their member organization the Manufactured and Modular Home Association of Minnesota (MMHA) to my office this week. MMHA has built over 80,500 homes in Minnesota and is home to several manufacturing plants, including 4 in our district: Red Lake Falls, Detroit Lakes, Montevideo, and Redwood Falls. Manufactured homes can play an important role in addressing Minnesota’s housing shortages and I look forward to touring another MMHA plant soon.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

I invited Jan Zakowski to visit with me and provide updates on issues important to Israel. The United States has a standing agreement with our closest ally in the Middle East to provide defense and security assistance. I am a cosponsor of the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act which authorizes another year of security cooperation to bolster Israel’s military edge in the region.

4-H Students

Jessica Beckendorf (Renville); Tyler Bjerke (Lake Park); Sarah Carlson (Willmar); Madeline Duffield (Browns Valley); Agusta Grams (Hector); Bailey Hayes (Swanville); Kaydon Kenfield (Red Lake Falls); Mary Larson (Bellingham); Zeb Lewis (Lake Park); Kiley Lickfelt (Hutchinson); Isaac  Lindquist (Pennock); Catherine Nelson (Ada); Julia Nelson (Ada); Jessica Olson (Warren); McKinsey Rosendahl (Fosston); Michael Suda (Halstad); Natalie Vogel (Rothsay); Breanna Wright (Hutchinson); Sue Nelson (Ada); Marcia Woeste (Long Prairie)

I met with a group of 4-Hers from the 7th District who were in Washington for the National 4-H Council’s Citizenship Washington Focus leadership program. The 4-Hers asked some great questions, and we had a good conversation on topics ranging from how to help young and beginning farmers to the recent Supreme Court decision on the travel ban. This was a bright group, and I wish them well as they continue their quest to develop and improve their communication, leadership, and citizenship skills.

Emma Reilly

I met with Emma Reilly of Alexandria who was in Washington recently as part of Running Start’s Young Women’s Political Leadership Program. Emma attends Alexandria Area High School and is interested in government and politics. I think it is great that this program helps train and inspire young women who are interested in running for elected office someday. I wish Emma all the best in her future endeavors.

Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation

On June 21, my Chief of Staff attended the 47th annual meeting of the Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation in Detroit Lakes. Throughout the years, MMCDC has worked to improve rural communities and their economies with federal support, and in turn, has served economically disadvantaged people and underserved places. I appreciate the work they do in my district and throughout rural Minnesota.

Rural & Urban Together Conference

On Thursday, my staff stopped by the Thriving by Design – Rural & Urban Together Conference hosted in the Upper Sioux Community at Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort and co-hosted by and Growth and Justice. This statewide gathering of Minnesota residents is the start of a six-month process to create a comprehensive policy agenda and socioeconomic contract for achieving rural-urban and racial economic equality and inclusive growth.

As our demographics are quickly changing and our workforce shortage is growing, these are important conversations to have. I commend the hosts and individuals attending for their willingness to be leaders in helping bridge urban and rural divides and for creating strategies to address racial economic equality. I look forward to the ongoing efforts of this group and will continue to support programs and policies at the federal level that improve our workforce and help families and communities thrive.

Rally for Agriculture

One of my staff attended the farm rally in West Fargo organized by the Minnesota Farmers Union. It was an opportunity for farmers to talk about issues that are important to the industry.

Northwest Clean Energy Resource Team (NW CERT)

A member of my staff visited Warren this week to view recent developments in clean energy. The tour included the new hospital, the re-purposing of the old hospital, the library, the city park and swimming pool. Officials then demonstrated the use of drone imaging of residential homes to identify heat loss to be insulated in the future. Warren is participating in Climate Smart Cities Partnership with Germany and wants to be an example for other small cities. Warren also is working toward a Sustainable and Green Step City status. For additional information, see their website. I want to thank Mayor Erickson and the City Council along with their employees for their hard work to make Warren an example of how we can save energy and reduce costs.

This Week in American History

Governor Rudy Perpich, 1986

On June 27, 1928, Rudolph G."Rudy" Perpich was born in Carson Lake, near Hibbing. The Iron Ranger would become one of Minnesota's most colorful governors, serving from 1976 to 1979 and 1983 to 1991. He sent National Guard troops to Austin to quell tensions during the Hormel strike in 1986, and he signed a law returning the state's drinking age to twenty-one. During his terms the state lottery was established and education was heavily funded. He died on November 21, 1995.

What’s the Story?

This map of Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District hangs in my Washington, D.C. Office. The Seventh District covers 31,796 square miles, making it Minnesota’s largest congressional district. The district includes 38 counties, and shares borders with North and South Dakota, and Canada. Roughly 670,000 people call the Seventh District home, and it has been an honor representing each one of them in the United States House of Representatives.

Visitors from the 7th

Kurt and Rachel Domnick and their children Morgan, Reece, Macy, Rylan and Trey visited my office in Washington this week. I spoke with them about their community near Morris and about their travels. They had a busy week exploring the sites in D.C. I am happy they could make time to stop in and say hello.

Alexandra McKinnell
Fergus Falls