An Organic Farmer Comes to Washington


That’s Montana’s next senator I’m talking about, Democrat Jon Tester.  To quote Wonkette: "OurTester1 nation has finally put a 7-fingered, buzz-cut farmer in the Senate.  God bless the United States of America."  But they missed the ORGANIC part – Tester’s farm has been organic since the early ’80s when they made the switch because "We needed to add some value."  Hear that, stinky chemical farmers of America?  Also, herbicide spraying was making them sick.  Especially toxic to his wife were the seed treatments on conventional grain.  (They’re even nuking the seed?  Please, no more details.)  One nearby farmer offered his reaction:  "That Tester, he’s growing a bunch of weeds out there."  But they’ve done well enough to close the family butcher shop, except to family and friends. 

Until  January, you’ll find Tester back home in Big Sandy, Montana, population 710, with his high-school-girlfriend wife.  Their home is described as a standard Western plains farmhouse, modest and warm.  So I’m trying to imagine this man moving to D.C. and living in, say, a one-bedroom near Dupont Circle?  (Wait – he’s anti-gay marriage.  Better make that a condo in Virginia, where voters recently took steps to protect against that threat.) Tester5_1

On the campaign trail, Tester accused incumbent Conrad Burns of having "gone Washington," a sweeping attack that blames this fine city for the excesses of Abramoff-style lobbyists.  But that’s okay; we don’t take it personally. 

So Senator-elect, welcome to D.C.  If anyone can come here without "going Washington," it’s gotta be organic farmers from Big Sandy, Montana.   Coz instead of hanging around for the receptions and the junkets, I know you’ll be catching the first flight out of town every chance you get.  Heck, you have all those weeds to tend.

And since I’ve gone almost totally off-topic, can I say just one word about the election results? Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. An organic farmer in the Senate. If that doesn’t perfectly illustrate how things are changing for the better, I don’t know what does 🙂

    Oh, and can I add an “AMEN!”

  2. Um, weren’t the majority of our US Senators (prior to the 20thC) farmers – and organic by default (not by choice, just for the fact that they weren’t making mass-market agri-chemicals back then)?
    I have a great-uncle who was an Indiana state senator and a career farmer – this was in the mid-20thC – I’d say in midwestern states he was the norm and probably still is – with all the cattle farmers, dairy farmers, etc. out there who have seasonal work schedules and a great deal of interest into what the govt. has to say about local land use. Politics and agriculture are a natural fit. 😉

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