Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 9/25/2015

Photo Credit: Steven Hannah (FISHER)

Dear Friends,

It was a historic week in Washington as Congress was addressed for the first time by a Pope. I joined Olivia residents to celebrate the completion of the Renville County Hospital and Clinic this week, and spoke with the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants about recent developments in Washington. Finally, Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway and I met with representatives from the USDA-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service to review avian flu recovery and prevention strategies. 


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Renville County Hospital and Clinic

John Stahl (Chairman, R.C. Hospital Board) and Dr. Dean Lindquist (R.C. Hospital Board)

On Monday, I attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the brand-new 65,000 square-foot Renville County Hospital and Clinic in Olivia. R.C. Hospital is an independent and locally owned facility that was brought to reality with wide-spread support from individuals, businesses, financial institutions and USDA Rural Development. Federal legislation to improve reimbursement rates for rural critical access facilities was also important to the project’s success. The excellent healthcare services and jobs provided by this facility will benefit the entire region.

Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants

Jim Conway (AgCountry Farm Credit Services)

On Tuesday, I spoke to the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants at their meeting in Detroit Lakes. As a CPA, I appreciate the organization's efforts to provide professional development and education opportunities to their members across Minnesota. We discussed the latest happenings in Washington, D.C. including the on-going appropriations process, the Pope's visit, tax extender and tax reform legislation, and other issues.

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

On Friday, Chairman Conaway and I met with USDA-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service employees to discuss their fall plan on High Path Avian Influenza that was released this past week. They detailed USDA’s efforts to make payments to producers, disinfect and monitor affected areas, and plan vaccine usage in the United States. USDA has laid out a very detailed plan and I am confident that they can make improvements to dealing with HPAI in the future.

Asamblea de Derechos Civiles

This week my staff aide Adam Durand met with Asamblea de Derechos Civiles. The group supports immigration reform, and has concerns with the impact current immigration policy has on families in the 7th district. Many of the group members are Catholic and they had an opportunity to see the Pope when he addressed the public in Washington, D.C.

SMSU Mustangs

John Sterner and Dr. Connie Gores (President, SMSU)

This week, my staff aide Meg Louwagie attended the unveiling of the new Southwest Minnesota State University mascot sculpture. Local artist John Sterner began the project a year ago and hoped to capture the spirit of the SMSU mustangs. The sculpture’s creation was a community effort with participation from local businesses, the University and Sterner’s students from Lakeview School. The sculpture’s Dakota name, “Sunka Wakan Wicunhduhapi,” means “Our Horse.” The piece will be formally dedicated in the spring.

Northern Minnesota Tribal Economic Development

Darrell Seki, Sr. (Chairman, Red Lake Nation)

My staff aide Toni Merdan attended the sixth Northern Minnesota Tribal Economic Development Summit this week at the Seven Clans Event Center in Red Lake. Tribal leaders and members representing the Leech Lake, Red Lake, and White Earth Ojibwe Nations came together to look at ways to diversify the regional tribal economy and further develop the region.  


Dairy Margin Protection Program

This week, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the application deadline for enrollment in the Dairy Margin Protection Program has been extended to November 20, 2015. This voluntary program, established in the 2014 Farm Bill, helps dairy farmers better manage risk and market volatility. Please contact your local FSA office for enrollment information.

Speaker Boehner Resigns

I was surprised to hear the news this morning of Speaker John Boehner's resignation. As I told the Star Tribune, the Speaker and I were first elected to Congress in the same year. I've known him from the beginning, and while we don't agree on everything, Boehner is a legislator who is here for the right reason and tries to do what's best for the country. I think his departure is a great loss for Congress.

Discovering the 7th

The Marshall County Historical Society, also known as the Settler’s Square Museum, consists of a small complex of buildings that depict a Midwestern community from the 1880’s. The museum includes storefronts of a local bank, lawyer’s office, saloon, general store, photographer’s studio, depot, blacksmith shop, school, and barbershop. The museum’s Ag Building also features a number of agricultural exhibits and antiques.

This Week in American History

“Old” Supreme Court (1810-1860) / Present

The Judiciary Act of 1789, passed by Congress and signed by George Washington, created the Supreme Court of the United States on September 24th, 1789. Comprised of six justices, the Supreme Court was granted ultimate jurisdiction over all laws, especially those with a Constitutional focus. The number of justices serving in this “high Court” is determined by Congress, and was stabilized at 9 in 1869. Though more famously located on 1st Street NE, the Supreme Court was originally housed across the street in the Capitol. If you would like information regarding visits to either the “Old” Supreme Court or the current chamber, please request a tour online or call my office at 202.225-2165.

Samuel Carlson (LITCHFIELD)
2015 Congressional Art Competition