Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 9/12/2014


Dear Friends,

The House, back in session after the August district work period, passed the Waters of the US Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, legislation I cosponsored to protect conservation efforts in our District. I met with members of the dairy, pork, and frozen food industry to explore the policies that impact rural economies. Farmers Union honored me with the Golden Triangle Award for my leadership in agriculture. I also had the opportunity to thank two of Minnesota’s Principals of the Year for their service to our youth and communities. Finally, we remember September 11th.  



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Mayor Bill Ufkin

Mayor Bill Ufkin

Minneota Mayor Bill Ufkin, a member of the Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water Board, and I had a chance to discuss the progress and benefits of public-owned water systems designed to acquire and provide clean, reliable, and affordable water in an environmentally responsible fashion.

Minnesota Farmers Union

Doug Peterson (President, Minnesota Farmers Union)

I was honored to receive the Golden Triangle Award for 2014 from Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson. The Golden Triangle Award is the National Farmers Union’s highest legislative honor. This award is given to members of Congress for their leadership in agriculture and support for policies that help family farmers and others in rural communities. We sat down to discuss the Renewable Fuel Standard, rail service issues, trade, and other issues important to Minnesota’s family farmers. Minnesota Farmers Union is a membership-based nonprofit organization that “works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities,” according to its website. More than twenty members traveled to Washington from Minnesota this year for the Farmers Union Fly-In.

H.R. 5078

Speaking on the House Floor

This week the House passed H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act. The bipartisan bill would prohibit the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from redefining “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. This legislation is necessary because, in my view, the EPA does not seem to understand the real world effects these regulations will have on farmers across the country. I am an original co-sponsor of the legislation and urged my colleagues to support the bill in a speech on the House Floor.

Land O’ Lakes

C. Nelson Neale (St. Paul), Bruce Holland (AR), Autumn Veazey (Washington, D.C.), John Funk (MELROSE), Rod Schulze (HOLLAND)

I visited with Land O’Lakes representatives to talk about implementation of the new Dairy Margin Protection Program, biotechnology, taxes, and other issues of importance to the dairy industry. Land O’Lakes is a farmer-owned cooperative with corporate headquarters in Arden Hills, Minnesota. They are well known for their line of dairy products, and have 406 dairy farmer members in Minnesota. Land O’Lakes also has seed, nutrition, and international development businesses. 

Minnesota Principals of the Year

Tim Wege (ALBANY) and Steve Harter (GAYLORD)

This week, I was pleased to meet with two of Minnesota’s Principals of the Year, Tim Wege, of the Albany Area Secondary School, and Steve Harter of Sibley East Junior High School, in Gaylord. The award, given by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals, recognizes the great achievements these individuals have gained in educating our youth. I commend them for the work they do every day on behalf of our students.

Direct Selling

Micaela and Matt Brancato (DETROIT LAKES)

Micaela and Matt Brancato stopped by to discuss the concerns of Direct Sellers. Micaela and Matt have served over 16 years together in the U.S. Air Force and have a home-based small business. They shared their personal stories about how direct selling has helped them achieve business and personal goals to create a better life. Proceeds from their small business gave them the ability to start Holbrook Farms Retreat, where they host 'Survivors of Heroes' retreats to provide families who lost a member to military service a peaceful place to remember and celebrate their loved ones.

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus

Representatives Bob Latta, Don Young, Lindsay Thomas, and Billy Tauzin

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, an organization that brings together industry and policy makers to further the interests of outdoor opportunities in America. I was pleased to have served as Co-Chair of the Sportsmen’s Caucus in the 105th Congress. The group is the largest bipartisan caucus on Capitol Hill, and we all have a vested interest in maintaining a robust outdoors tradition to pass onto the next generation. This week the CSF hosted a luncheon for members, past and present, to gather and talk of the work we do to support hunting and fishing policies. I am pleased to have long been a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, and will continue to work for the hunting and fishing communities in our state.

Minnesota National Guard

Col. Larry Herke and General Rick Nash

I met with MN National Guard Adjutant General Rick Nash and Col. Larry Herke in my DC office on Wednesday. They were in town to brief the MN Delegation on the latest developments with the MN National Guard.

The Schwan Food Company/Lakeside Foods

Dave Yanda (Lakeside Foods), Jeff Varcoe (The Schwan Food Company), Alan Poff (The Schwan Food Company)

I met with representatives from Schwans and Lakeside Foods to discuss issues important to the frozen food industry, including school nutrition, food safety, and labeling issues. Schwans is headquartered in Marshall and sells frozen foods through home delivery, as well as the food service industry and grocery stores across North America. Lakeside Foods is a frozen and canned vegetable company with distribution centers across Minnesota and Wisconsin, including a plant in Brooten. These folks were also in town to attend American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) meetings. AFFI is the trade association that seeks to promote the interests of the frozen food industry. 

Minnesota Pork Producers

Paul M. Cline (Sleepy Eye), Brian Johnson (TRACY), Randy Spronk (PIPESTONE), Christie Jackson (SANBORN), Terry Wolters (PIPESTONE), Jared Anez (WILLMAR), Gordon Spronk (PIPESTONE), Jill Resler (Mankato)

Minnesota Pork Producers met with me to talk about the proposed Waters of the United States rule, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), and other issues important to the pork industry. Minnesota Pork joined pork producers from across the United States in Washington this week to attend the National Pork Producers Council’s biannual Fall Legislative Action Conference.


This week marks the 13th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks on our nation. Every year, September 11th is a somber day for America and will forever leave an indelible mark on our lives. The attacks were meant to provoke terror and bring America down, but instead brought us all together to face a common enemy, and in the end, strengthened us as a country. I hope we continue to honor those Americans who lost their lives on that day. One individual from the 7th District lost his life on September 11th:  Max Beilke from Alexandria was working in the Pentagon that fateful day, and was noted as having been the last serviceman to leave Vietnam. His service to America ended in the horrific attacks on 9/11, but his memory and honor will live on. Newsstand

7th District Airport Grants Announced

Today I announced that four airports in the 7th District were awarded grants by the Department of Transportation to develop their air service capabilities. Roseau Municipal Airport, Bemidji Regional Airport, Moorhead Municipal Airport, and Myers Field in Canby were awarded funds to update their facilities. Well-functioning airports are important to the development of our local economies, and it is good to see these rural airports strengthened and revitalized.

County Courthouse Tour

Becker County courthouse 1885/Present

Becker County, established at the time of Minnesota statehood in 1858, officially organized itself for judicial purposes in 1871. The defeat of an 1872 county board resolution to build a courthouse in Detroit Lakes signaled the beginning of a 12-year battle for the county seat. E.G. Holmes, a county board chairman, donated land for a courthouse square and found a state statute that allowed the county board to approve its construction without voter approval. The first courthouse, completed in 1885, was soon deemed “a very serious fire hazard and menace to public safety,” and was removed in 1941. The current courthouse, completed in 1942, is banded with black granite frames and features a 2.5 ton black stone eagle.

This Week in American History

George William Featherstonhaugh/Lake Traverse

George William Featherstonhaugh, a British-American, came to the United States in 1806 to farm and study Native American languages. Finding difficulty in transporting crops to market, Featherstonhaugh advocated the construction of some of the first steam railroads in the US. An avid geologist and geographer, Featherstonhaugh was appointed as the first US government geologist to help explore and chart the unexplored land acquired in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. After one year of service in this position, in 1835, Featherstonhaugh reached Fort Snelling and became the first to travel the Minnesota River to Lake Traverse. Returning to England in 1847, Featherstonhaugh recounted many of his expeditions through Western Minnesota in his book A Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotor.

Visitors from the 7th

Savannah, Jared, Harley, and Kami Anez (WILLMAR)

Brian and Toni Diede (ALEXANDRIA)

Rebecca Jimenez (PAYNESVILLE)
2014 Congressional Art Competition