Collin was born on June 29, 1944, in Fargo, North Dakota. He grew up on a farm in Baker, Minnesota, and he currently lives in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Collin has three sons, Sean, Jason and Elliott and four grandchildren, Collin, Tori, Karis and Karly. He is an avid sportsman and enjoys hunting and fishing with his sons and especially his grandson Collin. He is a private pilot and enjoys flying around the seventh district and visiting with his constituents.
Collin was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Seventh Congressional District of Minnesota in 1990. His primarily rural and agricultural district reaches from the Canadian border in the north, almost to the Iowa state line in the south; along Minnesota’s border with North and South Dakota. Peterson is Ranking Minority Member of the House Committee on Agriculture, which has jurisdiction over a wide range of agriculture and rural development issues, including the Farm Bill, renewable energy, disaster assistance, nutrition, crop insurance, conservation, rural development, international trade, futures market regulation, animal and plant health, agricultural research, bioterrorism, forestry, and others.
He graduated from Minnesota State University-Moorhead and also served in the North Dakota National Guard. Before being elected to the House of Representatives, he was a Certified Public Accountant and small business owner in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and also served for ten years in the Minnesota State Senate.
In the 1960’s, Peterson also found time to play guitar and sing with a band known as “Collin and the Establishment.” He is a musician, and in recent years he has performed with Willie Nelson at Farm Aid concerts, jazz legend Lonnie Brooks, with several other Members of Congress at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and with rock guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter at several Washington, D.C. venues. He is a member of the American Legion’s Ninth District Band.
Peterson has organized and played in Congressional rock bands, including The Amendments and the Second Amendments. He and his colleagues have performed at charity events in Washington DC. The Second Amendments also performed for U.S. troops in Germany, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and performed at WE Fest in Minnesota and Farm Aid in Illinois.