Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 7/11/2014
National Botanical Gardens' Exhibit - Summer 2014

Dear Friends,

This week, legislation that I authored to expedite the adoption process for children from the Democratic Republic of Congo unanimously passed the House. Honor Flight legislation and the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, both of which I supported, are headed to the Senate. I attended the General Farm Commodity and Risk Management hearing to review the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill’s commodity policy and crop insurance provisions. I visited with superintendents from the 7th to discuss the state of education in Minnesota, and met with the MN Soybean Growers Association to talk about issues important to the soybean industry. Also included are important updates regarding support for flood recovery efforts in our state.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District 


Curt Tryggestad (Superintendent, Eden Prairie School District), Luther Heller (Superintendent, MONTIVIDEO School District), Mark Bezek (Superintendent, Elk River Area School District), Dan Brooks (Superintendent, SAUK CENTRE School District)

Superintendents Curt Tryggestad, Luther Heller, Mark Bezek, and Dan Brooks stopped by to discuss the state of education in Minnesota and legislation affecting our students. We talked about everything from school nutrition programs to the necessary technological infrastructure our schools require to remain competitive and provide the best education we, as a nation, can offer our youth. I always appreciate meeting with these superintendents and understanding what is really needed in our schools, as they truly provide the eyes and ears of what Minnesota schools need on a daily basis.

MN Soybean Growers Association

Joel Schreurs (TYLER), Mike Petefish (Claremont), Bob Worth (LAKE BENTON), Paul Freeman (FERGUS FALLS), Lance Peterson (UNDERWOOD), George Goblish (VESTA)

I met with leaders of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association to discuss the Renewable Fuel Standard, rail issues, Army Corps permits, and other issues important to the soybean industry. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association advocates for the interests of more than 4,000 soybean farmers who are members of the organization. 

General Farm Commodities and Risk Management

Questioning under Secretary Scuse

The House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing Thursday to review implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill’s commodity policy and crop insurance provisions. During the hearing, I questioned Michael Scuse, USDA Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, about the implementation of the farm bill’s new dairy program. The 2014 Farm Bill created a new dairy safety net and I expressed concern that dairy farmers aren’t being properly informed about the new program and the steps they will need to take to enroll. I urged USDA to take a more proactive role of informing producers about this new program. A video of the questioning is available here.

Legislative Update

Adoption Resolution Passes House

Speaking on the House Floor

On Tuesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution I authored to address the suspension of exit permit issuances for adopted children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I introduced H.Res. 588 after Montevideo residents Kristin and Gregg Zeidler contacted my office to explain how this situation impacts their family directly. For a video of my testimony on the House Floor, please click here.

Honor Flight Legislation Passes House

April Honor Flight - St. Cloud to Washington, DC

I voted for legislation that would require the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in collaboration with the Honor Flight Network to establish a process for providing expedited and dignified passenger screening services for veterans traveling to visit war memorials built and dedicated to honor their service. Expedited screening services will save veterans’ time and show them their proper respect and appreciation. Any veteran who participates in the Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C., should be given every opportunity to do so in the most dignified manner. It is the least we can do.

Energy and Water Funding Bill

This Thursday I supported the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act which passed the House on a vote of 253 to 170. The bill funds the Army Corps of Engineers, programs designed to make fossil fuel and renewable energy less expensive, and certain national defense programs. Although the bill is not perfect, I supported it because I believe that Congress needs to get back into the habit of passing appropriation bills to provide more certainty for our economy and work to repair confidence in the political process. Minnesotans have to make difficult spending decisions, and Congress should be no different.

Military Academy Appointments

Naval, Air Force Academy Crests

I am pleased to announce that three distinguished high school graduates, all scholars and leaders in their communities, have accepted appointments to US Military Academies. I was happy to nominate Ryan Gailey (WINSTED) and Nicholas LeTourneau (NEW YORK MILLS) to the Air Force Academy, and Elliot Jacobson (ALEXANDRIA) to the Naval Academy. I’m confident that they will continue their commitment to service and to their country. To view full press releases, please click on the appointees’ names above.


Federal Funds for Road Repairs

EDGERTON, courtesy of Ross Brands (City Clerk)

After joining the other members of the MN Delegation in advocating for federal funds to help repair flood-damaged roads in MN, the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program has allocated $4.25 million to help reimburse Minnesota for road repairs and reconstruction. For more information and access to the full press release, click here.

MN Delegation Disaster Declaration

I joined the rest of the MN delegation in urging the President to issue a Major Disaster Declaration to aid in the recovery efforts of MN communities impacted by recent severe weather and flooding. The full text of the Delegation’s letter to the President is available here.

USDA Support for Flooding Victims

With the support of my colleagues Congressman Walz, Senator Franken, and Senator Klobuchar, I urged Debra Crusoe, the MN State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency, to hold public outreach meetings in flood-impacted areas. These meetings will help farmers and ranchers better understand the natural disaster support and resources available to them. For the full press release and the text of the letter, click here.

USDA Rural Development

Aaron Backman (Windom EDA Exec. Director), Clay Roll (General Manager, Fast Manufacturing), Colleen Landkamer (Executive Director, State Rural Development) Cody Fast (CFO, Fast Manufacturing).

I support USDA Rural Development, an agency that is instrumental in helping private business create jobs and economic growth in the Seventh District.  An example is Fast Manufacturing, Inc., which recently opened a new production facility in Windom, Minnesota.

A $1 million loan was allocated through the Rural Economic Development Loan to assist Fast Manufacturing Inc. in expanding its production facilities. Phase 1 (72,000 sq. ft) started operations in July, with phase 2 (another 72,000 square ft) currently under construction and opening soon. The expanded production facility, which manufactures crop sprayers and liquid nitrogen applicators, will provide jobs for the community.

County Courthouse Spotlight

Beltrami County Courthouse, 1905/Present

The original Beltrami County courthouse and jail, prior to the formal organization of Beltrami County in 1897, was housed in a store in Bemidji. In 1902, the current three-story red brick and sandstone was constructed, and the previous courthouse was sold to become a drug store. The design of the structure, with its strong central pavilion, arcaded tower, and dome was quite popular as numerous other courthouses emulated its Beaux-Arts style across the 7th.

This Week in American History
Garrison Keillor, Host of "A Prairie Home Companion"

On July 6, 1974, the comedy, music, and variety show A Prairie Home Companion made its first live broadcast from Macalester College in St. Paul, with its first national broadcast airing only four years later. A Prairie Home Companion now boasts a listening audience of 4 million, and is widely considered to be a MN institution. The show borrows its name from the Prairie Home Cemetery in Moorhead and features “news from Lake Wobegon,” a fictional central Minnesotan community that would eventually become realized through the establishment of the Lake Wobegon Trail. This trail, stretching 50 miles from St. Joseph to Osakis, is one that I helped fund with the passage of the Transportation Equity Act. For more information on A Prairie Home Companion, click here. More information on the Lake Wobegon Trail can be found here.

Visitors from the 7th

Dr. Paul, Bella, Noah, and Jenna Puetz (MARSHALL)

Becka Kimpling (Clara City)2
Becka Kimpling (CLARACITY)
2014 Congressional Art Competition