Critics of Minnesota House Speaker and candidate for Governor Margaret Anderson Kelliher have accused her of being “urban”. She may live in the metro area now, but she had deep farm roots. At the Anderson family farm in southern Minnesota, she is challenged by The UpTake’s Grace Kelly (also a former farm girl) to drive a tractor.
By Grace Kelly
Margaret Anderson Kelliher grew up on a dairy farm near Mankato. The Anderson family farm is now a crop farm, growing corn and soy beans. While waiting to do this video, I hung out in a potluck, meeting the family. I had the fine pleasure of meeting Elaine Anderson, who I did not realize was Margaret’s mom until later. We swapped farm stories, in the way that farm folk do. The difficult economics of making farms pay is something every farmer knows, while outsiders rarely understand. On a dairy farm, you cannot lay off the cows when the milk prices fall low. And this is a time of very low dairy prices!
In every farm family I have ever known, both the women and the men do everything. Gender makes no difference when there is work to be done. And on the farm, all kids start doing work as soon as they can walk. When I was young, my male cousins would attempt to show me up as the skinny farm girl. My dad would not let me set the male cousins up with the “easy” cow to milk or such gags. But sometimes, the cousins would take on the challenge of seven guys piling hay bales from one skinny farm girl unloading hay bales. It was an easy challenge for me to win!
Margaret Anderson Kelliher formally announced this week that she is running for Governor of Minnesota from the family farm. The Minnesota GOP chair Tony Sutton had the audacity to call it a “Mankato makeover”. I don’t think that Tony Sutton believes that women farm! In fact, the GOP tries to paint House Speaker Margaret Anderson-Kelliher as an “urban liberal”, even when Margaret Anderson-Kelliher is in the celebrity milking challenge. The Anderson family farm is still operating and could some extra harvesting help in two weeks. Maybe Tony Sutton would like to volunteer, chuckle.
I am so old that when I grew up, the tractors were small! Margaret Anderson Kelliher and I had fun making this video, right after her announcement.