Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 9/16/2016

September 16, 2016

The beginning of Fall in Northwest Minnesota

Dear Friends,

Capitol Hill was busy this week; I welcomed groups from all over Minnesota to my Washington, D.C. office including the Minnesota Farmers Union, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Soybean Growers and the Minnesota Pork Producers. I met with the Cancer Action Network and the Center for Disability Rights to discuss pressing health needs of Minnesotans, and was an honorary host of the Dining Away Duchenne event to show my support of continuing medical research. Finally, I was honored to once again receive the Guardian of Small Business award from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Protecting U.S. Farmers from Unfair Trade

I joined U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and House and Senate colleagues at a press conference Tuesday announcing a new trade enforcement action against the People’s Republic of China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning excessive government support provided for Chinese production of rice, wheat and corn. The complaint challenges China’s use of “market price support” for the three crops in excess of China’s WTO commitments. Minnesota producers are some of the most productive in the world, but we need to make sure that there is a level playing field.

Cancer Action Network

Robianne Schultz (PERHAM), Patti McGuire (Duluth), and Warren Larson (BAGLEY)

The Cancer Action Network was in Washington this week to advocate for Congressional support in combating cancer. Among the representatives from Minnesota was Robianne Schultz, who was named Ambassador of the Year by the American Cancer Society for her efforts to support cancer research and awareness. I look forward to working with the Network toward a cure for the deadly disease.

Center for Disability Rights

Meghan Moore (HENNING)

Minnesotan members of the Center for Disability Rights visited my office this week to thank me for my support of H.R. 5689, the Disability Integration Act. This legislation would help encourage community-based disability services as an alternative to institutionalization. I appreciate the efforts of the Center for Disability Rights to help create, improve, and maintain integrated living environments for disabled Minnesotans.

Minnesota Farmers Union

Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson presented me with the 2016 Golden Triangle Award during the 2016 National Farmers Union Fly-In.  This award recognizes “outstanding leadership on issues affecting family farmers and rural America.” It is an honor to receive the award again this year, and I will continue to fight for the farmers in my district in the years to come.  It was great to have a large number of Minnesota Farmers Union members attending this meeting in my Washington office, and we discussed a number of issues important to Minnesota farmers such as crop insurance, ARC/PLC farm safety net programs, and the Dairy Margin Protection Program.  We also talked about issues for the next Farm Bill.

Minnesota Farm Bureau

David and Renee Sogge (GLYNDON), Jared Luhman (Goodhue) Leah Johnson (ELBOW LAKE), Abbey Weninger (Buffalo), Melisa Bauer (Nerstrand)

Members of the Minnesota Farm Bureau stopped by my Washington office on Tuesday to discuss current issues affecting agriculture.  They voiced their support for H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which I supported during the vote later that day.  I often talk about the need for these types of education and apprenticeship programs as they give young people good hands-on experience from trained supervisors.  We also discussed direct and guaranteed loans and the Dairy Margin Protection Program.

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association

Bill Gordon (WORTHINGTON), Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Director/American Soybean Association Director, Randy P. Krotz (St. Louis), U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Chief Executive Officer, Katie Foster (St. Louis), U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance

I met with leaders of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association as well as the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance on Tuesday to talk about a number of food and agriculture issues, including genetic engineering technologies, trade, and sustainability.  The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance is comprised of 90 plus partner organizations which represent many facets of American agriculture.  In coming together, this diverse group seeks to promote confidence in the agricultural market through education and dialogue with consumers.

Minnesota Pork Producers

The Minnesota Pork Producers stopped by my office on Thursday to discuss agriculture issues affecting the pork industry.  We talked about trade issues and the outlook of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the next Farm Bill.  Minnesota is second in pig production – looking at both the number of pigs raised and the dollar value of the pigs – according to the Minnesota Pork Producers.

U.S. Rice Producers Association

On Wednesday, I met with the chairman of the U.S. Rice Producers Association, Tommy Turner, and his wife, Carol. The Turners are from Texas, and we discussed how farm programs are helping rice growers in their part of the country. Their visit underscored how important it is to have a Farm Bill that works for everyone.

National Association of Wheat Growers

Washington might be a big city, but the agriculture community can seem like a small town. The new CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), Chandler Goule, stopped by my office on Wednesday. Chandler used to work for me several years ago as a staff member with the Agriculture Committee. We talked about NAWG's plans for the next Farm Bill and how to make sure wheat farmers will be heard in the policy making process.

Gray Wolf Summit

Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI)

Several Wisconsin state legislators hosted a Wolf Summit on Thursday in northwestern Wisconsin to talk about a strategy to bring management of gray wolves in the Great Lakes region back to the states. Congress was in session on Thursday, so I joined Congressman Reid Ribble in recording a message for the Summit. We are both committed to finding a legislative solution so our farmers and ranchers can protect their way of life, and allow wolves to continue to thrive.

National Federation of Independent Business

It was an honor to receive an award from the nation’s leading small business association. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) named me a Guardian of Small Business based upon my voting record as it relates to a pro-growth agenda for small business across the nation. NFIB has over 4,000 members from the 7th district.

Highway 2 West Manufacturers' Association

On Thursday, my staff aides Toni Merdan and LeRoy Stumpf attended the quarterly meeting of the U.S. Highway 2 West Manufacturer’s Association ( held at Northland College’s airport campus in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.  The Association brings together people and resources to learn from each other to improve business success in northern Minnesota.  Attendees learned about the development of mobile manufacturing and welding educational trailers that will be utilized in west central and northwestern Minnesota for high school students.  These mobile units will provide a pathway for students to become  better acquainted with industry.  James Retka, (pictured above) the Dean of Workforce and Economic Development for Northland College, gave a tour of the Northland College’s new expanded campus located at the Thief River Falls airport. 

Dining Away Duchenne

This week, I served on the Honorary Host Committee for the 16th annual “Dining Away Duchenne” event in Washington. The fundraiser, sponsored by the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne, is designed to raise money to cure the rare form of muscular dystrophy. As the author of the Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education (MD-CARE) Act, I can attest to the importance of research and effective treatment within the Duchenne community.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

This week I met with the St. Paul District Army Corps of Engineers to get an update on projects in the 7th District. I am glad to hear that progress is being made on the Marsh Lake restoration project, and that the Corps is participating in local watershed meetings. I am hopeful that the permitting approval process for watershed projects in the Red River Valley will work better for the local project sponsors if the regulatory agencies like NRCS and the Army Corps can provide guidance in the early stages of the project. In the meeting, I also shared my disappointment over the lack of coordination between the Army Corps and FEMA which has resulted in a situation where people protected by flood control structures are being required to purchase flood insurance that they don’t need. This issue defies common sense, and I will push to get the federal agencies to resolve it.

Land Stewardship Project

On Thursday, my Agriculture Committee staff met with members of the Land Stewardship Project. The meeting was a follow up to the farm visit I had with LSP members in August in Minnesota. LSP shared with my staff their priorities for the next Farm Bill which include making conservation and farm programs work better for family farmers. I have been a strong supporter of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and will continue to work with LSP to support young people who want to get a start in agriculture. Update

Agriculture Committee Update

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on Wednesday, “American Agricultural Trade with Cuba.” I am a long-time supporter of expanding trade with Cuba, which I believe will be a benefit to U.S. agriculture and the Cuban people. The Administration’s actions to ease both trade and travel restrictions are a good step, but there is still more work that we can do to open this market up to American agricultural products.


Airport Infrastructure

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Chandler Field Airport in Alexandria a grant of $1,517,745 for infrastructure improvements. With these funds, Chandler Field can more effectively meet the region’s transportation needs.

Lewis and Clark Regional Water System Project

Progress is being made in the Lewis and Clark Water System Project, with a major new contract set to include three components – a pump station, meter building, and pumps. I have worked with my colleagues from Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa on a bi-partisan basis to support this project and am glad to see us moving closer towards its completion.

Passport Day

Minneapolis Passport Agency will host a special Passport Day even on Saturday, September 17th as part of the Department of State’s passport awareness month. At the event, you can apply for a routine or expedited passport and additional renew any expired passports. The event will be held at Old Federal Building, 212 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, 55401 from 10:00am – 3:00pm this Saturday. Schedule your appointment by calling: 1-877-487-2778. 

This Week in American History

Theodore Christianson, 21st governor of Minnesota, was born on September 12, 1883. Born in Lac qui Parle Township, he entered public service as a state legislator before going on to serve as Minnesota’s Governor from 1925 – 1931 where he became known as “Tightwad Ted” for his highly thrifty financial policies. Following his term as governor, Christianson served in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented the 5th Congressional district. In his retirement, he would also write a five-volume history of Minnesota. He died on December 10, 1948

Spotted in the Seventh

Image result for corn olivia mn

Can YOU guess what we 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 is the crowning glory of the “Seed Corn Capital of the World”…

Congratulations to Nikie Ambuehl of Ada for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Detroit Lakes Beach Pavilion in Detroit Lakes!

Share your guess on our website –

Violet May (RED LAKE)