Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 8/25/2017

Lake of the Woods

Dear Friends,

This week I joined U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Northwest Angle to distribute border identification check technology for a new pilot program. This project is an instructive example of what can be accomplished when government listens to local communities. I also joined Douglas and McLeod County 4-H auctions this week, where I took home the ribbons for several top-quality animals. Finally, I made visits to 3M and toured a remodeled nursing home, both in Hutchinson.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

New Pilot Program at the Lake of the Woods

Michelle James, Director of Field Operations at the Seattle Office; speaking at the Angle Inlet

On Monday, I joined U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to distribute new border identification check technology to local resort owners to officially begin the first phase of a new Lake of the Woods pilot program. CBP could have selected several other remote areas for this pilot program, and I fought hard for the Lake of the Woods region to be selected as a testing ground for the new technology. 

This technology will make it easier and safer for anglers and visitors who come to Lake of the Woods for its world-class fishing and other outdoor activities. Instead of boating or snowmobiling back to one of the three remaining Outlying Area Reporting Stations (OARS), which is often dangerous during the winter months, travelers can now check in at their resort after visiting Canada to report their arrival back into the United Sates via CBP as required by law.

On Monday, there was a joint press conference with CBP and local resort owners to commemorate the start of the pilot program which was followed by fishing and a fish fry at Flag Island. This is an excellent example of what government should be doing, which is working together with locals to solve problems.

Douglas County Fair

Last weekend I attended the Douglas County Fair, where I connected with several groups including part of the Presidential Turkey Flock and the Science of Ag Team, who I joined for a televised segment on KOOL-TV. I was also honored to be able to kick off the 4-H Livestock Auction. The Grand Champion Rabbit – Single Fryer was raised by Kodi Bundermann who is part of the Lake Mary Troopers 4-H club.

McLeod County 4-H

I also participated in the McLeod County 4-H auction recently and left with two ribbons from the McLeod County 4-H Riders Club, won by Kianna Dolezal and Dayne Morton. As a former 4Her myself, I’m always proud to support an organization that does such a great job with youth development.

3M Hutchinson

3M Hutchinson Tape Plant; Lisa Propps Hutchinson (3M plant manager) and Mike Mueler (Stationary Products division manager)

Last Friday, I met with 3M in Hutchinson to tour their facilities. The Hutchinson plant is their largest physical plant in North America, comprising nearly 1.5 million square feet (about 33 acres) under roof. 3M ships over 20,000 semi-trailer loads of products each year. I’m proud to help support our home-grown companies that keep our local economies strong.

Minnesota Housing Development’s Housing Institute

This week I was able to speak at the Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP)'s Housing Institute, a training event for rural communities. These events take place throughout the district with the goal of adding housing to our local communities. The MHP is a non-profit organization that receives federal money through the USDA’s Rural Communities Development Initiative (RCDI), as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The RCDI supports new housing in rural communities by providing local leaders with technical assistance and training. I will continue to support efforts that bring affordable and stable housing across the district.


I visited the Rehab-Authority in Thief River Falls this week. Kim Rosendahl, the Rehab Director and owner, explained how people suffer from bodily disabilities, and if given the right therapy, can go back to work and live fulfilling lives. Kim demonstrated how shoulder injuries can be identified and repaired. In the Thief River Falls clinic, they have several physical therapists helping clients. 

Harmony River Place


Last week, I toured the Harmony River Place in Hutchinson, a new state-of-the-art nursing home with separate houses for nursing homes, transitional care, and a memory care facility. The facilities include separate living and activity areas, family sitting areas, and kitchen and dining areas with 18 private rooms. I’m proud to say I was able to help Harmony River receive an $18 million low-interest loan to create a space where we can help protect senior citizens in our communities.

University of Minnesota

On Thursday my staff met with University of Minnesota Extension staff to learn about their current work in nutrition, leadership, education and research. Their continuous work in the area of bio-security, specifically avian influenza, has provided valuable research and education. From early detection testing to new best practices, Extension has been on the front lines with producers working to reduce the impacts of future outbreaks. I look forward to their continued work and innovation in this area.


Local Veteran takes Honor Flight

Homan in uniform (pc: Hutchinson Leader); Homan after his honor flight

At 91, Elvin “Speed” Homan took the trip of a lifetime. Homan, who lives at Harmony River Living Center in Hutchinson, joined 24 fellow World War II and Korean War veterans on April 21 for the St. Cloud Honor Flight. The trip was hosted by VFW Post 428 in St. Cloud, which is a member of the Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit organization that provides all-expense-paid trips for veterans to Washington, D.C. Since the nationwide program began in 2005, hundreds of flights have ferried thousands of veterans to see the war memorials in the nation’s capital. You can read more about his Homan’s story at the Hutchinson Leader.

2017 Annual Passport Day

On Saturday, September 16, 2017, the Minneapolis Passport Agency is hosting a special event – Passport Day in the USA. The Minneapolis Passport Agency, located at the U.S. Federal Office Building on 212 Third Avenue South, will be open from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm to accept passport applications and provide information to the American traveling public.

In order to ensure timely processing of all applications, appointments will be required. Applicants will be able to reserve appointment starting on September 3, 2017 by calling 1-877-487-2778.

For Passport Day only, both routine and expedite processing will be available at the Minneapolis Passport Agency.  The American traveling public can be ready for upcoming travel by applying for their U.S. passport book or passport card during this special event with no expedite service requirement and Saturday service

What applicants must provide:

  • Proof of citizenship
  • Valid ID
  • Passport photo

These are available at many vendors, such as Passport Acceptance Facilities, pharmacies, big-box stores, and photo studios.

For information on passport fees, forms and photo requirements, please visit, and click on “U.S. Passport.”  

This Week in American History

On this day in 1937, Congress established Minnesota’s first national monument: the Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone County. Catlinite, otherwise known as pipestone, has been used to make ceremonial pipes by many native communities including the Dakota and Lakota people, and to this day tribal communities are still able to access this sacred stone at the national monument.

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 created as a bicentennial project in 1976 to memorialize the pioneers who settled the area...

Congratulations to Jared Miller of Wolverton for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Wilkin County Court House in Breckenridge!

Share your guess on our website –

Hannah Nelson (PRINSBURG)