Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 7/1/2016

July 1, 2016

Dear Friends,

The House of Representatives was in a district work period this week, allowing me the chance to head home to Minnesota well before the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. I attended the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District meeting in Barnesville to continue working on drainage water management. I was happy to have my dad join and discuss the history of flooding in our area. Meanwhile, my office welcomed Minnesotans visiting D.C., including the Minnesota Soybean Growers, RESULTS, and CentraCare Health. I hope to see you out celebrating this Independence Day!

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Buffalo-Red River Watershed District

On Monday, I attended the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District meeting in Barnesville. The watershed is doing a lot of great work on drainage water management, and the things they are learning in the watershed will give us a better understanding of how we can design these systems to best reduce the risk of flooding in our region. There are a lot of factors at play and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so we need to be able to tailor the options that can work for farmers. I was happy that my dad, Lauren Peterson, could make it as well! He talked to the group about the history of flooding in the Red River Valley and how important it is for people to work together to find solutions that will protect us from flooding.

Roseau County

Roseau County Coordinator Jeff Pelowski, Roseau County Commissioner Todd Miller, Roseau County Engineer Brian Ketring.

Officials from Roseau County traveled to Washington this week to meet with my staff and FEMA officials. After experiencing a number of flood disasters over many years, they have worked diligently to implement projects that mitigate future floods and to work through the challenges and obstacles that come with dealing with a number of state and federal agencies. I've always been impressed with the good work our local officials do to help agencies understand how their decisions impact our rural counties and communities.


On Tuesday, my staff aides Rebekah Solem and Zach Martin met with RESULTS volunteers PaHoua Vang (Gem Lake) and Nancy Polonia (RED LAKE), who were in Washington for a national conference.  RESULTS is a nonprofit organization seeking to end poverty.  The group discussed a number of legislative initiatives that would alleviate poverty, both domestically and globally, and thanked me for my position to preserve the integrity of SNAP by not supporting block granting of the program.

Minnesota Soybean Growers

Biodiesel is an important component in our renewable fuel supply that also supports soybean farmers along the way. Soybean oil is a major input for Minnesota’s three biodiesel plants that produce 63 million gallons of biodiesel annually. My staff aide Zach Martin met with Mike Youngerberg and Bill Zurn from Minnesota Soybean Growers to talk about the technological advancements being made in the biodiesel industry.

Healthcare Coalition

Members of the Employers for Flexibility in Health Care (E-Flex) Coalition and the National Restaurant Association visited my office this week in support of streamlined employer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act. The Coalition represents leading state and national trade associations and service-related industries to address the complexity and administrative burden that many employers experience as a result of substantial new healthcare reporting requirements. I will work to ensure that employer-sponsored coverage remains a competitive and affordable option for employers and employees.

CentraCare Health

Representatives of CentraCare Health met with my staff this week to discuss the healthcare system’s services throughout Central Minnesota. With an expanding network of hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and pharmacies operating throughout the 7th District, CentraCare Health is at the forefront of patient-centered care in Minnesota’s rural communities.  


Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall replica open for viewing in Willmar

This weekend the traveling Vietnam War memorial will be displayed in Willmar. The traveling wall, a three-fifths replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., will be at the Robbins Island Park through the weekend. The wall will be open for viewing from sun-up today until teardown Tuesday morning, with an official opening ceremony at 7 p.m. today.

For more information, or if interested in volunteering, contact Jon Lindstrand at 320-212-2978.

This Week in American History

John Vessey, future chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was born in Minneapolis on June 29, 1922.  He began his 46-year military career in the Minnesota National Guard in 1939 when he was still 16. After lying about his age to serve, Vessey fought in North Africa and Italy during WWII, where he earned both a Bronze Star and a battlefield commission as an officer, and also served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. When he retired in 1985, General Vessey was the longest-serving active duty member in the United States Army. Notably, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and went on to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1985. As of last year, General Vessey is the oldest living US Army four-star general.

Spotted in the Seventh

Can YOU guess what we 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 clue connects us with some nearby neighbors…

Congratulations to Bruce Malterud of Laporte for being the first to correctly identify last week’s location as "The Guardsman," in Greenwood Cemetery, Bemidji!

Share your guess on our website –

Visitors from the 7th

Former Minnesota House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, with his wife and son Traci and Braxton Seifert (St. Paul)

Matt, Xander, Nicholas, Katie, Vernae, and Michael Hasbargen (BRECKENRIDGE)

“Got the Blues”
Emilie Halbakken (MOORHEAD)