Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 8/24

Aug 24, 2012 Issues: Energy, Transportation, Veterans

Yellow Ribbon Recognition Program Proclamation Ceremony

Detroit Lakes, August 22, 2012

Dear Friends,

This week I attended the Yellow Ribbon Recognition Program Proclamation Ceremony, met with Case IH workers, and talked to members of the Minnesota Organic Crop Improvement Association. Later in the week I visited Kandiyohi Power Co-op and celebrated the grand opening of the Paynesville Bypass. This weekend we also celebrate the annual Chautauqua and French Festival in northwestern Minnesota. From bonfires and storytelling to country concerts and jig dancing, this event at Old Crossing Point and Treaty Park has lots to offer for folks of all ages. Finally, the University of Minnesota, Morris was recently recognized by the Department of Energy for being a pioneer in clean energy projects, and this week's newsletter will provide some more information about sustainable energy at the U of M, Morris. 


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Snapshots from the 7th

On Thursday, August 23, I took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the long awaited Paynesville Bypass on Highway 23. While the Paynesville Bypass has been open for several weeks now I was happy to see the community come together and support such a great infrastructure project. This project is a great example of public-private and local, state and federal partnerships, proof that we can work together and finish projects. This Bypass will not only help within the city of Paynesville, but will also give the city of Willmar direct access to St. Cloud, which is vital for economic development in southwestern Minnesota. One of the most striking things about this project is that it was completed ahead of schedule and on budget. When communities work together they can achieve great things and I was glad to play a role in this project.

West Central Tribune:

On Wednesday, August 22, I attended the Yellow Ribbon Recognition Program Proclamation Ceremony in Detroit Lakes. This event honored and awarded "Yellow Ribbon" status to nine communities within the 7th District: Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Long Prairie, Moorhead, Thief River Falls, Wadena, Alexandria and Minnesota State University Moorhead. The Minnesota Guard pioneered the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program, which empowers community leaders to work together in building a network of support for servicemembers and their families throughout deployment. As the first of its kind, this successful Minnesota program inspired the now federal law. It is an honor to have so many communities from the 7th District recognized as Yellow Ribbon communities.

Photos courtesy of Bob Orr, President, BackStreet Media
I spoke with Case IH workers in Benson on Tuesday, August 21 and was given a tour of the plant by Plant Manager John Daniels, pictured in the bottom left. Following the tour, I had the opportunity to check out a recently manufactured Case IH Module Express 635.

I met with members of the Minnesota Chapter of the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) on Monday, August 20. The main focus of our meeting was the 2012 Farm Bill and the need to get this important legislation passed by the House and into conference committee.

From left to right: Carol Kleppe, Richard Olson, DeEtta Bilek (President, MN OCIA), Robin Brekken

I visited the Kandiyohi Power Cooperative in Spicer on Thursday, August 23 and shared concerns on rural utility issues.

Chautauqua and French Festival 8/24 - 8/26 (HUOT / RED LAKE FALLS)

Top left: Bronze life-size figure of a Chippewa Indian, placed as a monument where the Old Crossing Peace Treaty was negotiated in 1863. Top right: Larry Dake of Oklee brought his two-year-old Ayrshire named Scout and dog named Harry to the Chautauqua and French Festival in 2011. Bottom left: Asham Stompers, a dance group performing at this year's festival. Bottom right: Back 40, a Franco-Manitoban country band playing at this year's festival.

This year the Chautauqua and French Festival will take place August 24-26 at at Old Crossing and Treaty Park near Huot. This annual festival is a three-day celebration of dance, music, food, and art at the historic meeting place at Old Crossing and Treaty Park, near Red Lake Falls in northwestern Minnesota. This site was used during the era of western exploration by Indian and French traders. The Festival and Chautauqua is presented by the Association of the French of the North (AFRAN), whose mission in the Red River Valley of the North is to create an understanding of the world's French heritage through the arts and humanities.

The event kicks off on Friday at 9:00 p.m. with a bonfire, singing and storytelling. At this week's festival, a number of artistic performers will lend their talents to the stage: Asham Stompers will bring lively music to the event as they perform the Red River Jig in the tradition of the Metis people. Composed of dancers from age six to 60, the Asham Stompers will perform Saturday and Sunday at the park and host a dance on Saturday night at The Spot in Red Lake Falls; Back 40, a Franco-Manitoban and country band from St. Laurent, will also play at a dance on Saturday night at The Spot. 

Festival attendees will also enjoy crafts and arts displays, silent auctions, fresh baked bread from earth ovens, meat pies (Tourtiere) and ice cream. Admission is free and the public is welcome to all events in the park. The Old Crossing and Treaty Park is on Red Lake Co. Road 3, seven miles northeast of Gentilly on County Road 11 or 10 miles southwest of Red Lake Falls. For more information on the Chautauqua and French Festival at Huot, contact Jerry Amiot at 218-289-8889.

Did you know…?

U of M, Morris: Sustainable Energy Pioneer

The University of Minnesota, Morris was recently recognized by the Department of Energy for its leadership in clean energy projects. The U of M, Morris is committed to renewable energy as a power source and the university’s two wind turbines produce enough power for nearly 60 percent of the campus' energy needs. The first turbine began generating power in 2005 and the second in 2011. The university also purchases thousands of corn cobs annually from local farms for its biomass plant to provide heating and cooling throughout the year. Other sustainable energy projects include a solar-heated swimming pool and chilled beam cooling technology in the Welcome Center. It is great to see the Department of Energy honor the work being done by the University of Minnesota, Morris in the field of sustainable energy.

Morris Sun Tribune:

Star Tribune:

VIDEO: View this video clip to learn more about sustainable energy at the U of M Morris:


Visitors to Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, August 21, the Zimmerman family from Alexandria and the Zackrison family from Hutchinson visited my Washington, D.C. office. They toured the U.S. Capitol and are pictured here outside the House Agriculture Committee Hearing Room.