Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 8/16

“If farming were easy Congressmen would do it”
This sign hangs in the entrance to my DC office

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday I traveled to Brainerd to attend this year’s Minnesota Ag Leadership Conference to talk about the Farm Bill. The National Farmers Union selected me as a recipient of the Golden Triangle Award, the organization’s highest legislative honor. Below are some important updates for active and retired military soldiers and veterans who rely on VA or TRICARE for their health care needs. Today I visited and toured the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum in Granite Falls.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Minnesota Agriculture Leadership Conference

Bruce Peterson, a farmer from Northfield and Treasurer of the MN Corn Growers Association

On Tuesday I spoke at the Minnesota Ag Leadership Conference, a collection of leaders in agriculture who exchange ideas about what’s best for Minnesota farmers. This year’s Ag Conference was held on Gull Lake in Brainerd. A lot of folks were concerned about the future of the farm bill, and I told the Conference that I will continue to work hard to get the job done, but the path to final passage remains uncertain.

Fagen Fighters WWII Air Museum

Pictured above with Mike Sullivan, Bob Mehlhouse, Warren Formo, and Bob Fox

I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Fagen Fighters WWII Air Museum in Granite Falls. The museum had their grand opening last September. It consists of two hangars, a WWII Quonset hut, and a WWII control tower.  The collection includes WWII trainer and fighter aircraft restored and owned by Fagen Fighters. Fully operational ground vehicles are displayed, as well as a mural depicting D-Day and bronze sculptures of the Army's 4th Infantry soldiers landing in a Higgins' boat. Visitors can also see sand from the beaches of Normandy.

The museum is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  Tours are also available by appointment.  To learn more you can visit their website by clicking here.

Golden Triangle Award

I am honored to be selected for the National Farmers Union 2013 Golden Triangle Award. One of my legislative goals is to lead on agriculture issues that matter to the everyday lives of family farmers in Minnesota and rural America. The Golden Triangle Awards have been presented by the National Farmers Union every year since 1988, and I consider it a privilege to be an honoree of that award for the thirteenth time. Looking forward, I will continue to fight for a five-year farm bill so farmers will have the certainty they need to grow our nation’s food.

Update on Affordable Care Act and VA/TRICARE

Coverage standards under the Affordable Care Act will go into effect January 2014. However, the health care law does not change VA health benefits or veterans' out-of-pocket costs. If you are enrolled in VA you will receive a letter through the mail informing you of your coverage and that you meet the "minimum essential coverage" required under the law. Letters are being mailed in priority group order beginning with priority group 1 through 8. The mailing should be completed by the end of October. Veterans covered by VA with family members who are not enrolled in CHAMPVA should use other private insurance (via an employer) or choose coverage within the Marketplace/State Exchanges which will be open for enrollment in October 2013. TRICARE beneficiaries will also be seen as having minimum essential coverage and DOD will inform the IRS of all individual beneficiaries who have TRICARE based on the information listed in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). It's important that social security numbers for all family members are accurate in DEERS. This includes any children using TRICARE programs.

Click here for more information about VA and the ACA
Click here to learn more about TRICARE coverage and the ACA

Celebrating 78 Years of Social Security

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. This law created a vital support system for the elderly, the disabled, and their spouses. For many generations Social Security has been a safety-net that helps people who have worked all their lives retire with dignity. The program also provides invaluable assistance to the most vulnerable among us, including the disabled and widows.

Today as we work to get our nation's spending under control, we cannot ignore the important role Social Security plays in the lives of thousands of Americans. In the 7th District alone, over 146,000 folks relied on this program as part of their monthly income last year. Social Security does nothing to contribute to our nation's current fiscal problems, and any solvency concerns should be addressed in a separate conversation that looks at reforming the entire program.

This Week in American History

On August 12, 1984, long-time Minnesota Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew was the first Twin to be inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. He began his baseball career in 1954 as a Washington Senator at the age of seventeen. When the Senators moved to Minneapolis in 1960, Harmon spent the next thirteen years as a Twin and slammed 573 home runs in his career. Harmon and his wife Nita founded the Harmon Killebrew Foundation in 1998. The foundation hosted events to benefit charities that promoted health and wellness through sports, especially baseball. Harmon Killebrew was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and passed away in 2011. The Twins organization retired the number three in his honor.

Constituents from the 7th

Deann, Isaac, Sarah, Lane, and Hannah Steele (WINDOM)

Constits 2

Erin, Owen, Jenny, and Ryan Holmberg (MARSHALL), Carla and Ronn Mindeman (LONG PRAIRIE), Connie Laite (West Fargo), Jacob and Michelle Strang (MOORHEAD), Brooke Schmidt (Fargo)

“Vermillion Rocks”
Gabriele Grassi (FRAZEE-VERGAS)
2013 Congressional Art Competition