Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 8/31

Aug 31, 2012 Issues: Veterans

Sky Glider at the Minnesota State Fair

Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Thompson, Minnesota Public Radio


Dear Friends,

The Minnesota State Fair is officially in full swing!  We took time to honor our troops and vets with Military Appreciation Day at the Fair on Tuesday. This year we are also proud to have Christine Reitsma of Sauk Centre selected as Princess Kay of the Milky Way 2012.  In addition to the State Fair, this weekend Tracy hosts its annual Box Car Days celebration and Grand Parade.  The newsletter this week also mentions a USDA Loan made to Bemidji Food Shelf and a FAA grant awarded to Thief River Falls Regional Airport.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


Military Matters

This week we celebrated the beginning of the Great Minnesota Get-Together that is the Minnesota State Fair.  As many folks will come together with loved ones and friends to eat things on a stick, attend concerts, and visit barns and exhibits, there was time taken to appreciate and honor our Nation's servicemembers.  On Tuesday, the Minnesota State Fair set aside a day to appreciate and honor our Nation's servicemembers.  Throughout the day, all branches of the service were represented with nearly 70 educational booths, military equipment and vehicles.  The 34th Red Bull Infantry Band performed at the Leinie Lodge and more than 100 recently returned veterans and military from all branches marched together.  As we celebrate the things that make Minnesota great, this day was an important opportunity to honor the servicemembers and their families who make our state and our Nation proud.

Box Car Days (TRACY)

Photo courtesy of Seth Schmidt, Tracy Headlight Herald

The 85th Annual Box Car Days kicks off tonight with Burger Night, hosted by the Tracy Area Chamber in downtown Tracy.  Tracy was first established as a prominent railroad center on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway in the mid 1800's.  In honor of that history, the city's annual Labor Day weekend Box Car Day celebration has become a popular tradition since it was first held in 1927.  Throughout the week there will be fun activities for friends and family including sporting tournaments, a Family Fun Day, fireworks, rides and games, bingo, and more!  The celebration culminates in a Grand Parade on Labor Day, beginning at 1 p.m.  Click here to view a full schedule of events

Paralympics 2012

This week London lit up again for Olympic athletes from across the world as the 2012 Paralympics kicked off in England.  Minnesota has 10 athletes competing in the games this year in sports like wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, and swimming. War veterans inspired the original Paralympic Games in 1944 because English doctor Sir Ludwig Guttman was seeking a way to re-motivate vets after serious injury.  These games have been held in parallel with the Olympic Games for over 50 years.  To learn more about the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, visit

Princess Kay of the Milky Way - Christine Reitsma (SAUK CENTRE)

Photo courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association

At the Minnesota State Fair this year the crown for the 59th Princess Kay of the Milky Way went to Christine Reitsma of Sauk Centre.  This young woman acts as ambassador for the dairy industry and the state's farmers during the Fair's 12-day celebration and throughout the rest of the year.  Candidates for Princess Kay are daughters of dairy farmers, employees of dairy farms, or daughters of dairy farm employees.  On the opening day of the fair, in true Minnesota tradition, Reitsma and the other finalists sat to have their likeliness carved into butter.  As one of the most popular exhibits at the Fair, each sculpture is carved from a 90-pound block of Grade A butter.  To learn more about events like this at the Minnesota State Fair, visit and print out a schedule!

Bemidji Food Shelf Receives a $300,000 USDA Loan

I congratulate the Bemidji Food Shelf on receiving a $300,000 USDA Rural Development loan.  These funds will be used to purchase an existing building for food shelf operations.  One in 5 children in Minnesota faces hunger or food insecurity. This means that the child does not always receive three meals a day or sometimes is forced to skip meals.  This loan is going to good people and will be put to good work feeding hungry families in the Bemidji area.  Well done Bemidji Food Shelf!

Thief River Falls Regional Airport receives a $2.2 million FAA Grant

Thief River Falls Regional Airport Authority received a $2,214,001.00 grant from FAA to continue their taxiway improvements. Thief River Falls Regional Airport has been working for years to improve and expand their airport to meet the needs of their growing economy, particularly the needs of Northland Community and Technical College who is expanding its aviation maintenance program to include Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Digi-Key Corporation who has increased their electronic component contracts, and to improve Essential Air Services capacity.  I congratulate the Thief River Falls Airport as well as these vital industries whose growth is dependent upon these improvements.  I firmly believe that the best way to improve the economy is to invest in our public infrastructure and the Thief River Falls region is a good example of that.  Congratulations on your hard work.