Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 8/18/2017

Aug 25, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy

Red Lake River
Thief River Falls

Dear Friends,

This week many farms and homes were hit with extremely heavy rains in Renville and Redwood Counties. Storms like this show the need for a strong safety net to ensure that farmers and local communities can weather storms and have access to the financing they need to recover. I continued to travel across the Seventh district meeting with a number of Minnesotans from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and an employee-owned company, to Lignite Energy Council, as well as Reinhart Foodservice. Later today I’ll be in Hutchinson for additional events - more about that in next week’s newsletter. Lastly, with all the pain, divisions, and negativity dominating the news, some readers would be interested to know that Representative Emmer and I jointly met with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Holding joint events with representatives of another political party is nothing new for me, and it is something that I think moves us in the right direction to best address the challenges facing all Americans.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Today I joined Congressman Emmer for a joint presentation with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. We provided an outlook for the coming session in Washington, and took questions on a number of important issues from healthcare and tax reform, to agriculture and the responsible use of our natural resources. Our joint visit today reflects something that I believe in strongly, which is that if we are going to make progress on issues facing our country, we have to do it on a bipartisan basis. Healthcare is a perfect example of how issues can become partisan, which sets back the work needed to get done to stabilize the market and help make healthcare more affordable. I am hopeful that some common ground can be found to make the investments needed to repair our crumbling infrastructure and to reform our tax code bringing rates down. Together these would create jobs and strengthen our economy.


This week I had the opportunity to visit SJE-Rhombus in Detroit Lakes. They have been awarded the “ESOP Company of the Year” by the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) Association. I was given a complete tour of the plant with CEO Dave Thomas, followed by a Q&A with their Corporate Team Leaders and the Employee Owner Activity Committee. Workers at employee owned businesses show a lot of personal pride in their jobs, and this was certainly the case here.

Otter Tail Coalition of Lakes Association Awards Banquet

I was invited to the Otter Tail Coalition of Lakes Association (COLA) Awards Banquet on Thursday night to give a speech. The COLA awards are given every year to those who help keep our outdoors enjoyable. I am appreciative for having been invited to speak and for those who work diligently at keeping our waters safe.

Energy Champion Award

I had the honor of receiving the Energy Champion Award by the Lignite Energy Council and the Coalition for Secure Energy Future this week. The LEC is based in Bismarck, ND and their membership is made up of over 400 companies including Minnkota Power and Great River Energy, which serves large parts of the district. We also had the opportunity to discuss the future of energy for the seventh district as well as the state. I will continue to support safe and efficient energy practices that meet the district’s needs.

Red Baron Arena and Expo

On Monday, I had to opportunity to tour the Red Baron Arena and Expo in Marshall. I was impressed with the thought and planning that went into the construction of this facility to make it multipurpose and focused on the many needs of the community. After following this project for about nine years, through a long funding process, it is good to see such an impressive end result.

Reinhart Foodservice

This week I was able to meet with the Marshall facility of Reinhart Foodservice, which is one of the largest foodservice distributors in the county, serving independent restaurants, delis, sporting venues, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, military, and chain accounts. Founded in 1972 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Reinhart now operates 28 U.S. distribution centers with more than 10,000 stock keeping units per division – servicing the entire eastern half of the country. 

Governor Dayton 25BY25 Town Hall

My staff attended Governor Dayton’s 25BY25 Southwest Minnesota Water Town Hall meeting in Marshall on Thursday. Approximately 200 people were in attendance to have a chance to talk about water quality, to share challenges facing their communities, and provide ideas for protecting and improving Minnesota’s waters.

Minnesota Farmers Union

The Minnesota Farmers Union sponsored an educational field day for Minnesota’s newest crop, industrial hemp. With legislative approval to grow hemp in Minnesota, farmers are finding that there is a demand for the seeds, oil, and fiber of this plant. Hemp is similar to soybeans in protein and can have a good yield and price point. The field day had growers and experts giving updates on their experiences about the new crop. Andrea Vaubel, the Assistant Commissioner in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, is in charge of monitoring how hemp will fit into the overall farming landscape.

Downtown Community Workshop

The Thief River Falls Downtown Development Association, a committee of the Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce, sought public input in developing a plan for downtown to enhance economic vitality and improve the quality of life for all its citizens. This was the third in a series of three public meetings to bring ideas and suggestions for future community development. There were wide-ranging ideas dealing with issues of transportation, parking, lighting, re-use of buildings, housings, recreation and of course costs. Some these ideas, with the help of the University of Minnesota Extension, community leaders, and businesses, will move toward implementation in the near future. 


Detroit Lakes Tribune

First founded in 1879, The Detroit Record (as the paper was then called) became one of the first businesses to develop in the city of “Detroit”. Today, The Detroit Lakes Tribune continues to thrive and adapt to a changing news-cycle environment. Our local newspapers remain one of the best ways to document the stories of our communities and share exactly what makes the Seventh so special.

This Week in American History

On August 19, 1957, Major David G. Simons successfully made a balloon flight into the stratosphere, setting the world record with his top height of 101,516 feet (almost twenty-one miles). The flight took 32 hours and ten minutes, longer than Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic, and landed him in Elm Lake, South Dakota.

Spotted in the Seventh

Can YOU guess what was 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 landmark was built in 1928 and serves as the seat for a county named after a former Minnesota United States Marshall...

Congratulations to Lori Clark of Detroit Lakes for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the world’s largest loon in Vergas!

Share your guess on our website –

Lauren Ammermann (RENVILLE)