Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 7/10/2015

4th of July, 2015

Dear Friends,

In recent years, oil production has grown more in the United States than anywhere else in the world. This week, the Agriculture Committee explored the impact of exporting crude oil, and I voiced my support for lifting outdated export restrictions that hold back economic growth in rural economies. I also welcomed the 7th District’s Native Youth Ambassador to Washington as she shared her perspective and expertise in Native American community leadership. Finally, I was honored to be named a “Friend of Farm Credit” by the AgriBank District Farm Credit Council.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Friend of Farm Credit

Mark Ellison (Board Member, AgCountry Farm Credit Services), Stan Claussen (Chair, AgriBank District Farm Credit Council), Doug Felton (Chair, AgriBank Board of Directors)

I was honored to be presented with the 2015 Friend of Farm Credit Award this week. The farm credit system provides the liquidity needed in rural America so our communities may continue to produce goods both at home and abroad. It is an honor to have the opportunity to represent and work tirelessly for rural America.

Center for Native American Youth

Vanessa Goodthunder (REDWOOD FALLS)

This week I met with Vanessa Goodthunder, a member of the Lower Sioux Community who teaches Dakota language to young Native American women in southwest Minnesota. Educating Native American youth about their history and heritage is a passion for Vanessa. Because of this excellent community work, she was invited by the Center for Native American Youth to serve as a native youth ambassador to Washington. During her visit, she talked about the importance of leadership in Native American communities.

McLeod County Commissioner

Allison, Cody, Heather, McKenna, Paul, and Breanna Wright (HUTCHINSON)

Today I met with Paul Wright, McLeod County Commissioner. His wife Heather and four children also joined our meeting to discuss issues of importance in their community. We discussed the innovative recycling program currently operating in the county, which handles materials from milk cartons to car seats and mattresses. Surrounding counties actually ship their materials to McLeod because of the strength of their recycling program, and the County recently involved graphic design students at Ridgewater to create new graphics for the carts. We also talked about the importance of strengthening local infrastructure so businesses can more quickly move goods to market and also reduce congestion in towns like Stewart.

Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America

This week I had the opportunity to meet a group of Minnesota students representing the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). The students visited Washington as part of their national conference, where they participated in workshops and other events with student leaders from across the country and met with lawmakers to advocate for Career and Technical Education. I thoroughly enjoy meeting these young leaders and hearing about their work.

Winds of the Prairie Ministries

This week I was honored to meet with students from Winds of the Prairie Ministries on their mission trip to the nation’s capital. They came to Washington to assist in local food kitchens and meet with lawmakers to discuss the importance of affordable education for students during a time when student debt has become a prominent issue facing our young people. We are lucky to have young people like these in Minnesota who are so invested in our communities.

National Small Watershed Coalition

On Wednesday I met with Bruce Julian with the National Small Watershed Coalition. We talked about the importance and future of the PL-566, Small Watershed Program, which can help improve water quality and prevent flooding in the 7th District.  This year I led a letter to the Appropriations Committee in support of funding for the program and hope that in future budget and appropriations cycles we can restore funding for this important program.

Minnesota Corn Growers

The Minnesota Corn Growers are holding district association meetings across Minnesota to update producers on issues related to new buffer laws and conservation, among other issues. My staff aide Allison Myhre attended the Fergus Falls meeting on Thursday where the Corn Growers, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center, and local Soil & Water Conservation District staff provided information and answered a number of questions from area farmers.

Alexandria Plastics

Bob Kill (CEO, Enterprise Minnesota) and Joe Schabel (President, Alexandria Plastics)

On Thursday, Enterprise Minnesota presented Joe Schabel, President of Alexandria Plastics in Wheaton, with an ISO 9001:2008 completion certification. Toni Merdan, my Economic Development Officer, attended the recognition of achievement event. ISO 9001 is a quality management system that is designed to help organizations ensure they meet the needs of customers while meeting regulatory requirements related to a product. Its completion typically means new sales and growth. Alexandria Plastics began operations in Wheaton in 2006.

Legislative Update

Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015

On Thursday, I spoke on the floor of the House in support of the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 (H.R. 2647). The bipartisan legislation will address some of the burdensome regulations that have arisen from legal challenges and help improve the management of our forests. It also includes an important budgetary fix to help address the rising costs of wildfires.

Agriculture Committee Update

The Agriculture Committee held a hearing Wednesday to explore the economic impact of exporting crude oil. I support efforts to remove restrictions on crude oil exports because current export laws are out of date. The United States is now the world’s largest oil producer and studies have shown lifting the current ban on crude oil exports would create jobs, many in rural areas.

On Thursday, the Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Affairs met to continue the Committee’s review of food aid programs. The Subcommittee hearing focused on Government Accountability Office (GAO) and U.S. Agency for International Development Office of Inspector General (USAID OIG) reports that review the implementation of food aid programs.


Glencoe Municipal Airport

The Department of Transportation allocated $1.8 million this week to improve the infrastructure of the Glencoe Municipal Airport. Keeping rural airports in good operating condition is important to meeting the area’s air transportation needs and will greatly benefit the local economy.

Discovering the 7th

Lamberton Blacksmith Shop, 1918

The Lamberton Area Historical Society, located inside of the fully-restored Hanzlik smithery, collects and shares area knowledge with several hundred visitors a year. The society also hosts the annual “Hot Iron Days” event, featuring live blacksmith demonstrations and authentic tool displays. The Hanzlik smithery, in operation from 1889 to 1920, was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

This Week in American History

Steamboats on the Pelican River, 1910

The Pelican Valley Navigation Company temporarily drained the Pelican River on July 9, 1889 to begin developing western Minnesota’s first marine passenger service. Extensive water railways and lock systems helped transport travelers, freight, and mail along a 3-hour voyage extending from Detroit Lake to Big Pelican Lake. After nearly 30 years of operation, boat service ceased in 1918 with the gaining popularity of automobiles.

Visitors from the District

Allison, Cody, Breanna, McKenna, Heather, and Paul Wright (HUTCHINSON)

Jasmine Bonnema (CLARA CITY)
2015 Congressional Art Competition