Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 9/8/2017

Sep 12, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Health

River Walk
Thief River Falls

Dear Friends,

As the recovery from Hurricane Harvey continues and Florida prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, Congress approved $15 billion in critical bipartisan funding today to help support our first responders and those communities hardest hit by these storms. This week, I met with retiring CFTC Commissioner Bowen to discuss the work we can do to protect our markets and I joined KFGO Radio to highlight the need for action on permanent flood protection for Fargo. With flooding affecting large areas in the south, there is only more reason for us to recognize the importance of flood protection. Water quality also remains a prominent issue in Minnesota, and this week several meetings were held to call attention to water management issues. Finally, I hope everyone enjoyed the Labor Day holiday, and I hope we continue to honor the contributions of our American workers every day.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

CFTC Commissioner Bowen

This week I met with retiring Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Sharon Bowen. We discussed her time in office, the great deal of progress we have made together to make the derivative markets safer after the financial crisis, and the work that still needs to be done to ensure that these markets are a place for farmers and businesses to manage their risk.

Farm Progress Show

Last week I traveled to Illinois for the Farm Progress Show, the country’s largest outdoor farm event, with members of the House Agriculture Committee to discuss policies for the upcoming farm bill reauthorization. Even in Illinois, Minnesota companies were standing out – I stopped by the Polaris tent to support one of the many organizations that continues to connect Minnesota to the Ag community.

Radio Interview with KFGO

I was a guest on KFGO News and Views with Joel Heitkamp on Friday morning and spoke about the recent court decision to halt the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion project. With the current project at a legal impasse, I believe the best path forward is to for all parties to come together and put all ideas on the table to build the much-needed flood protection for Fargo. The people of Fargo were let down by the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to ignore concerns and not pursue alternatives. We can’t afford to waste any more time, and I am hopeful that stakeholders on both sides of the river, and those living upstream, downstream and downtown can find a solution that works for everyone in our region.

West Otter Tail County Farmers Union

On Thursday, the West Otter Tail County Farmers Union met for their county convention, and my staff updated them on the latest news from the August recess and the issues we're facing as Congress is back in session. Farmer’s Union members are concerned about having a strong farm safety net, access to affordable, quality healthcare, and transitioning to a homegrown, renewable energy future. Members in Otter Tail County were also concerned about fixes to the dairy program in the upcoming farm bill.

Red River Basin Commission Meeting

The Red River Basin Commission held a meeting this week to tour projects and to discuss drainage, soil health, and flood prevention. Their research highlighted with the considerable volume of agriculture in the Red River Basin, there is not a high degree of nitrogen of phosphorous run off. I appreciate the good work the Red River Basin Commission continues to do.

Governor Dayton Hosts Water Quality Town Halls

A series of 10 Water Quality Town Halls have been scheduled around Minnesota. This week’s meeting filled the University of Minnesota's Bede Hall with participants. Those in attendance included Minnesota’s Commissioners of Agriculture, Health, Natural Resources and Board of Soil and Water Resources. Important information on our water resources was discussed by all present. After a few preliminary statements, the meeting centered on group discussions geared toward addressing water quality solutions. It’s a good sign when local participation continues to grow on how to manage our water resources.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Town Hall

MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Deputy Commissioner Matt Wohlman, and Assistant Commissioner Susan Stokes. 

This week, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) held a town hall meeting for the St. Cloud area as part of a larger series of joint meetings throughout the state. MDA Commissioner Frederickson gave an informative overview of Rural Finance Authority, beginning farmer tax credits, the nitrogen rule, Dicambra, guidelines for private well testing for Nitrate levels, and the MDA Agriculture Water Quality Certification Program. These town halls continue to be a great method to let our agencies communicate directly with those who need them, and a chance for the government to hear first-hand from farmers and those in the agriculture community.  

25BY25 Water Town Hall

Another meeting held this week highlighted the water quality goal to improve water quality 25% by 2025. These meetings aim to generate ideas on reducing water pollutants, protecting drinking water, improving water recreation, increasing water protection on agriculture lands and urban areas, and building public engagement in water quality. Brief presentations were given by Dennis Fuchs from SWCD, Pat Shea of St Cloud, and Linda Jennisen, a dairy farmer from Brooten. 

Northwest Regional Development Commission

The Northwest Regional Development Commission often holds their meetings in different towns throughout Minnesota; the most recent meeting was held in Plummer this week. The commission members visited the Tri-River Pioneer Museum before the meeting. A great deal of time, energy and donations went into the buildings, machinery and life style that remind us of the history of previous generations. The gas price displayed on the pump is 32 cents a gallon! As your Congressman, I am proud to represent all of our communities and thank them for keeping our history alive and available to our citizens.


Minnesota Contamination Cleanup and Investigation Grants

The Contamination Cleanup and Investigation Grant Program helps communities pay for assessing and cleaning up contaminated sites for private or public redevelopment. Applications are due Wednesday, November 1st by 4pm. Grants pay up to 75 percent of the costs to investigate and clean up polluted sites. Both publicly and privately owned sites with known or suspected soil or groundwater contamination qualify. A 25 percent local match is required.

Cities, port authorities, housing and redevelopment authorities, economic development authorities, and counties are eligible.

For more information go to:

Foodkeeper App

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) helped develop the ‘Foodkeeper’ App as a tool to help reduce food waste and improve public health by sharing storage methods that extend the shelf life of the foods and beverages in American homes. The App, which is now available for download, also includes and provides notifications regarding food safety recalls announced by FDA and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

This Week in American History

Labor Day Parade in New York, 1882

Since 1894, the first Monday in September has been set aside as a tribute to the hard working Americans who continue to build our nation. The first Labor Day was celebrated over a decade earlier in New York City, but the holiday quickly caught on across the United States. In fact, Minnesota celebrated its first labor day on September 7, 1885. Labor Day is an important opportunity for us to come together to recognize the sacrifices and contributions American workers make to keep our country strong.

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 state park was founded in 1992 and has almost 3,000 acres of prairie, lakeshore, and northern hardwoods. In fact, it contains one of the largest undeveloped lakeshores left in western Minnesota…

Congratulations to Jim Hess of Bemidji for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Sanford Events Center in Bemidji!

Share your guess on our website –

“Golden Gate Bridge”
Elli Stoel (PRINSBURG)