Representative Collin C. Peterson

Table of Content

            More often than not, politicians are distant from the people who voted them.  The citizens who voted for them may not know about their lives and careers.  In the United States House of Representatives, there are many notable public servants that deserve to be known by the American people.  Representative Collin C. Peterson is one of those people.  This research paper aims to discuss the life and political career of Collin C. Peterson.

            On June 29, 1944, Collin Clark Peterson was born in Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota (“About”; “Representative”; “Biography”; Washington Post).  He spent his childhood in a farm located in Baker, Minnesota (“About”; “Biography”).  At present, he resides in Detroit Lakes in Minnesota.  His religion is Lutheran (“Representative”).

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            In 1962, Peterson graduated from Glyndon High School in Glyndon, Minnesota (“About”; “Biography”).  In college, he attended the Moorhead State University in Minnesota (“About”; “Representative”; “Biography”).  He graduated in 1966 with degrees in Business Administration and Accounting, as well as Political Science.  After graduating from high school, Peterson became a staff sergeant of the North Dakota Army National Guard from 1963 to 1969.  Also, he was a certified public accountant in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for 22 years (“About”; “Representative”; “Biography”).

            With regards to his family life, Peterson is divorced and has three children, namely Sean, Jason and Elliott (“About”; “Biography”).  He has four grandchildren: Collin, Tori, Karis and Karly (“About”).  Peterson enjoys sports, as well as hunting and fishing.  He shares his passion for the said activities with his sons, specifically with his namesake grandson.  In addition, Peterson is also a private pilot and often flies around his district to attend to his constituents (“About”).

            Representative Peterson’s political career is characterized by many successes and failures.  In 1975, he was elected as senator in the Junior Chamber of Commerce (“About”; “Biography”).  From 1977 to 1986, he served as a senator in the Minnesota State Senate. For the first three attempts in the United States House of Representatives, he was unsuccessful.  Those attempts occurred in 1981, 1986 and 1988.  It was on November 6, 1990, when he was first elected into the United States House of Representatives (Cabanela; “Representative”).  He is currently the representative of the seventh congressional district of Minnesota (Cabanela).  He was last elected on November 7, 2006, and the next election is set on November 4, 2008 (Cabanela; “Representative”).  Representative Peterson currently serves as the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee (“About”; “Biography”; Washington Post).  He is from the Democratic Party (“Representative”; Washington Post).

            Representative Peterson is a member of various groups and organizations.  In Congress alone, he participates in groups with different causes and objects.  His congressional memberships include the Arts Caucus, Bike Caucus, Correctional Officers Caucus, Heart and Stroke Coalition, Human Rights Caucus, Internet Caucus, Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus, Northern Border Caucus and Performance Caucus (“About”; “Biography”). Because he served in the National Guard, it is no surprise that he is a member of groups which are related to the military.  His military-related memberships include the Air Force Caucus; he is even the Co-chair of the Military Veterans Caucus (“About”; “Biography”).

            The other organizations that Peterson is involved in also include those that deal with agriculture, international relations and sports.  As Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, it is expected that Representative Peterson is also active in affairs that concern agriculture.  He is part of the Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Task Force, Farm Bureau and the Farmers Union (“About”; “Biography”).  He is also a part of Friends of Denmark, Friends of Norway Caucus and the German Study Group.  Because of his love for sports, Representative Peterson has several sports-related memberships.  He is a member of the Becker County Sportsmen’s Club and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (“About”; “Biography”).

            Another notable group in which Representative Peterson is a member is the Blue Dog Coalition (“About”; “Biography”).  This group, composed of Democrats, seeks to create balanced policies in Congress (“Blue Dog”).  The priority of the coalition had been fiscal policies and the welfare reforms.  This group continues to make significant contributions in Congress, and Representative Peterson is a part of it.

            Representative Peterson has received many achievements through his career as a representative in Congress.  For his legislative efforts, he received two awards.  Pheasants Forever named him as the Conservation Legislator of the Year (“Representative”).  Safari Club International also gave him the honor of Co-Legislator of the Year.  Representative Peterson also received a Public Achievement Award from the Minnesota Hospital and Healthcare Partnership.  He was named the Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business.  He was also considered as a Champion of Private Property Rights by the League of Private Property Voters (“Representative”).

            As a man who is dedicated to agriculture, Representative Peterson was also recognized by many organizations.  He was honored as the Friend of Farm Bureau by the American Farm Bureau (“Biography”).  He received the Golden Triangle Award from the National Farmers Union.  He was also recognized as a Friend of the Farm Conservation by the National Resource Conservation Service (“Biography”).  These are just some of the achievements of Peterson in many different fields.

            One of the highlights in Representative Peterson’s political career is his service as the House Agriculture Committee Chairman. His current position entails a serious responsibility.  For almost 200 years, this committee has been responsible for the policies created regarding agriculture and the rural America (“Welcome”).  Agriculture is very important in the United States, as it is one of the key strengths that made the United States the country that it is today.  The committee is important because it prioritizes the needs of an industry that not only provides nourishment for the entire nation and the other countries in need, but also offers employment to many farmers and ranchers (“Welcome”).

            The House Agriculture Committee has many issues to deal with.  There are those that are directly related to agriculture; these include agricultural studies and research, health of plants and animals, insurance of crops, farm credit and security, and forestry (“Representative”; “Welcome”). There are also those that may seem unrelated to agriculture, but still falls under its scope.  These include bioterrorism, renewable energy, water conservation, regulation of markets, disaster assistance, and international trade (Project Vote Smart; “Welcome”). The committee is tasked with the creation of policies regarding the aforementioned issues; as chairman, it is Representative Peterson who is in charge of all the responsibilities.

            One of the most notable achievements of the House Agriculture Committee is the Farm Bill (“House”).  This specific bill guarantees that every American citizen has the opportunity to access a food supply which is both safe and inexpensive.  It also secures the needs of farmers and ranchers.  It allows the establishment of key nutrition programs and conservation programs which are good for the environment.  In addition, it encourages the development of renewable energy from agriculture, which may be answer in the country’s oil dependence.  The United States House of Representatives and Senate have overridden the veto of the President for 14 of the 15 titles included in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.  This eventually became the Farm Bill (“House”).

            Representative Peterson is one government official whose name is not tarnished by controversies or scandals.  He is not identified as a corrupt public servant.  However, he has participated in several corruption cases, though he was not directly involved.  In 1993, the New York Times reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development has again been involved in controversy due to corruption (Deparle). It was estimated that the department had more than 1 trillion dollars in expenses that were caused by problems in the accounting, data systems and staff.  During that time, Representative Peterson was the head of the House oversight committee.  He assured the authorities that he will hold hearings on the findings based on the reports gathered about the controversy (Deparle).

            Another investigation that Representative Peterson was a part of involved the corruption that occurred from the destruction of family farms caused by the government (LaGrasse).  This features the case of Bart Dye, who lost the 130-year-old family farm because it was illegally seized by the Farmers Home Administration. Dye was present in a regulatory reform hearing wherein the committee involved in the hearing also included Representative Peterson (LaGrasse).

            Representative Collin C. Peterson is one distinguished public servant.  He heads one of the most important committees in the House of Representatives, he is involved in various causes, and he has a clean public record.  He is only involved in cases of corruption when he is part of the investigating committee.  Indeed, he is one public servant the American people should know about.

Works Cited

“About Collin.” Peterson for Congress. 4 July 2008 <>.

Cabanela, Juan. Contacting the Congress.  23 June 2008. 4 July 2008 <>.

Deparle, Jason. “Reports Warning of H.U.D. Problems.” The New York Times. 11 March 1993. 4 July 2008 <>.

LaGrasse, Carol W. Positions on Property. July 1995. Property Rights Foundation of America . 4 July 2008 <>.

“Representative Collin C. Peterson (MN).” Project Vote Smart. 2008. 4 July 2008 <>.

U.S. House of Representatives. “Biography.” Congressman Collin Peterson.  4 July 2008 <>.

U.S. House of Representatives. “Chairman’s Welcome.”  House Committee on Agriculture. 4 July 2008 ;;.

U.S. House of Representatives. “House Agriculture Committee’s Farm Bill Homepage.” House Committee on Agriculture. 4 July 2008 <>.

Washington Post. The U.S. Congress Votes Database.  4 July 2008 <>.

“What’s a Blue Dog?” The Blue Dog Political Action Committee. 4 July 2008 ;;.


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Representative Collin C. Peterson. (2016, Sep 20). Retrieved from

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