Minnesota farmers react to end of Rep. Peterson's 30-year run

It's going to be a big adjustment for the farmers in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District as Rep. Collin Peterson was voted out after serving for 30 years and serving as the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

Republican State Senator Michelle Fischbach received 53% of the vote Tuesday, while Rep. Peterson received 39%. Though the majority voted him out, some said they are not looking forward to the change, fearing that farmers' voices may not be as loud in Washington.

"It was not good news. It was shocking news," farmer Nathan Schmalz said. "Hearing about Collin's loss affects me deeply...if I had an issue I would never be concerned about not getting a call back."

The race was one of the most expensive in state history, with more than $17 million spent - $13 million of which came from outside donors.

"With PAC money coming in and influencing these elections, all of a sudden we lose the feel of representing the people," Schmalz said.

Former President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Brian Thalmann, said he saw something different happen this year leading up to Election Day.

"I think Greater Minnesota, a lot of the rural areas are predominately Republican areas, and I think in the past Congressman Peterson has been such a moderate that he was winning votes on both sides. But, there was a concerted effort this time around, evidently, and that’s the way it ended," he said.

While no one has an exact answer as to why things unfolded like they did, one thing is certain - farmers know how to deal with uncertainty. 

"Things change, and we have to move on," Thalmann said.

On the campaign trail, Michelle Fischbach spoke about building relationships within the agriculture community in the district. On Tuesday night, Fischbach said her first priority is the economy.