Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 8/8/2014

Field in Vergas

Dear Friends,

The Gilfillan Estate in Redwood County hosted the 20th annual Farmfest, the nation’s 3rd largest outdoor agricultural exposition, celebrating Minnesota's agricultural roots. This week, I met with business and government officials regarding highway development projects in rural Minnesota, and visited a family farm in Swift County to discuss conservation and farm policy matters. Finally, I was honored to receive the Merle Anderson Award from the American Coalition for Ethanol for my support of the ethanol industry.                                                                                                 



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

American Coalition for Ethanol

Merle Anderson (CLIMAX) Founder, American Coalition for Ethanol

On Tuesday, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) presented me with the Merle Anderson Award, the highest award for supporters of ethanol, at their meeting in Minneapolis. Merle, the Founding Father of ethanol, presented the award and pinned his original “ACE” pin to me during the ceremony. I also got the chance to sit down for an interview, which is available here. The ethanol industry is a vital part of Minnesota’s agriculture economy, and I will continue to advocate for this homegrown fuel.

2014 Farmfest

Meeting Soybean Producers, Bob Worth (LAKE BENTON) Vice President, American Soybean Association

This week I attended Farmfest in Morton. This agriculture trade show draws over 30,000 people and is a great chance for farmers to kick the tires on some of the newest technologies in agriculture. I spoke with farmers about everything from how their crops are progressing to how the Farm Bill implementation is going. I think if more members of Congress got out of Washington and sat down with real family farmers over pork chops, they would know how important it is to support our farmers who produce the food that sustains us.  

Berge Family Farm

On Thursday, I visited the Tammy and Jess Berge farm in Sunburg to tour their farm and discuss conservation and farm policy matters with Land Stewardship Project members. On their 300 acre farm, the Berge family has 60 stock cows and about 200 ewes. They grow corn, soybeans, and hay, and practice no-till on parts of the farm along with cover crops. The mission of the Land Stewardship Project is in part “to foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture and to develop sustainable communities.” the Yellow Ribbon

This week the community of Redwood Falls joined a growing number of towns and cities across Minnesota that have committed themselves to better serving our veterans and their families. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon communities recognize that the sacrifice of our military men and women continues long after their deployment is over and the welcome home parades end. I commend the Community of Redwood Falls for working to give our heroes the support they need and deserve. I will continue to do everything I can in Congress to support efforts like this to help those that have given so much.

Highway 23

Addressing the Hwy. 23 Corridor Group

Almost 40 business and government officials from Southwest Minnesota and the Minnesota Trunk Highway 23 Corridor Group joined myself and Senator Franken in Morton to discuss the future of Highway 23 funding and development projects. The Group expressed their support for four-lane completion along the 203 mile Tier One Freight Route between St. Cloud and Interstate 90. These revitalization efforts are crucial in maintaining safety and efficiency along this important artery for commerce in Southwest Minnesota.

Recognition Banquet

County Volunteers

The University of Minnesota Crookston held their annual Recognition banquets this week. Volunteers from Polk, Pennington, Roseau, Red Lake, Marshall, Kittson and Norman counties got together to recognize all of the volunteers and hand out special awards. This group of people amassed 52,429 hours of volunteer service. Multiplying those hours times the dollar value of volunteers ($22.55/hr.) equals $1,182,274. That’s a huge savings to each county.  Some of the programs to help people are the Groceries to Go, Handyman, Reading Buddies, Readers Theater, and Bone Builders. Some of the new areas include tax aid, disaster service teams, veterans and their families, economic opportunities, and environmental stewardship. I recently supported the America Gives More Act of 2014 (HR 4719) to extend tax credits that support charitable activities such as these.

National Farmers Market Week

2014 Farmers Market “Forever” Postage Stamps

August 3 through 9, National Farmers Market Week, honors farmers markets, the farmers who build them, and the communities that support them. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the release of new limited-edition “forever” stamps to celebrate the contributions of farmers markets to the American agriculture industry and economy. Direct sales through the thousands of farmers markets across Minnesota and the United States (up 8 percent since 2007) help develop regional food systems. You can find the market nearest to you here.


Waiver to Expedite Critical Propane Infrastructure Project

Dooley Petroleum of Benson received a waiver from the Army Corps of Engineers to advance with a project to install a railroad unloading track capable of storing one million gallons of propane. This announcement comes after a letter I sent with my colleagues Senators Franken and Klobuchar to the Army Corps of Engineers urging immediate consideration and an end to unnecessary delays.

Airport Infrastructure Funding

The Department of Transportation has allocated a total of $755,000 toward infrastructure improvements at the Paynesville, Mahnomen, Hector, and Hutchinson Airports. These funds will help maintain the airports, improve runway safety, and ensure that business and tourism continue to come to the 7th.

County Courthouse Tour

Polk County Courthouse 1905/Present

Polk County’s first term of court convened on the upper level floor of a rented store building in 1879, and remained there until the completion of the formal courthouse in 1881. The two-story frame building had an ornate, pointed tower that burned in 1911. Polk County’s second courthouse featured an open, Greco-columned tower topped by a dome, as well as four prominent Ionic columns in the front. This courthouse was demolished in 1968 to allow for the construction of the current three-level concrete and granite courthouse.

This Week in American History

The Webster-Ashburton Treaty was signed by the United States and Great Britain on August 9, 1842, ending a decades–long territory dispute and setting the boundary between the US and Canada. Originally established by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the treaty stated that the boundary should run "through the Lake of the Woods to the Northernmost point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river Mississippi.” However, the geographically faulty map used to negotiate the Treaty of Paris failed to recognize that the source of the Mississippi River, Lake Itasca, was too far south to be to be intersected by a line running west from Lake of the Woods. This error was officially corrected in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty by directing the boundary from the northwest point of the lake to the 49th parallel, then westward. Today, the Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods County is the northernmost point in the contiguous US and the only territory of the US (with the exception of Alaska) north of the 49th parallel.

Visitors from the 7th

Andrew, Ashley, Missi, David, Aaron, and Isaac Loe (HANLEY FALLS)

Kali Groen (CLARA CITY)
2014 Congressional Art Competition