Yesterday I went Minnesota's Dairy Day at the Capitol - an event where dairy farmers go the capitol and listen in some committee hearings, go to meetings with legislators and have a reception to hobnob with them as well. There are some specific pieces of legislation that we have opinions on and some just general things we want to get across. It was a successful (if stressful - thanks social anxiety!) day for me.

I live in Minnesota's 6th congressional district, i.e. the home of Michelle Bachman and her ilk. When she retired, a man named Tom Emmer took her place. His views are similar to hers, so clearly I am not a fan. My state representative basically touts herself as a mini-Michelle Bachman. My state senator is a Republican, but his social views are much more moderate.

I don't know if this is common in other industries, but in agriculture it is very much encouraged that you have a personal relationship with your local and even national elected officials. That's a bit weird for me, seeing as I didn't vote for any of them and have very different views than them. My state senator even showed up at my house the other day, unannounced, just to tell me about a farming conference he had just attended. At the reception last night, some staffers/relatives of Tom Emmer's were there, and they were saying - Tom would love to come to your farm, you have such a great story, it would be a great opportunity, blah blah blah. I guess I should be on board with this - he's already been elected and if I can get a chance to talk about farming with the actual person who gets to vote on these things, great! But it's sort of like, I hate you and your views, and now I am inviting you to come to my farm and support me? I feel a little guilty, I guess. I also don't really want to appear that I'm endorsing his views on anything other than agriculture.

On another note, of the approximately 50 dairy farmers at this event guess how many were women?

Three, including myself.

Guess how many were under the age of 50?

Two, including myself (I'm 25).

Talk about feeling like an outsider. On the upside,all the other farmers seemed to be treating me as an equal. I think I have proven myself over the years by getting my face out there constantly and knowing my shit, backwards and forwards. It's just frustrating to know that as I walk around the capitol with another dairy farmer, onlookers are thinking - is that his daughter? His wife? No one would ever assume that we were just two farmers, equals, walking around together. I want to put a giant sign on me that says "I am a farmer" - I'm not a farmer's wife or a farmer's daughter.

Her's a cute cow picture for your time.