Saturday, March 12, 2011

Farmer-Labor Connections in Wisconsin

I grew up on a small (by today's standards) dairy farm in Minnesota. Although my parents never ran for office, political discussions were commonplace and part of our every day family discourse.  They were proud members of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party, the DFL. I recall being confused as a young child about references to the Democratic and the Republican parties on a national level, as I always thought it was the DFL versus the Republicans.

With this upbringing, the link between family farmers and the middle-class workers that form the backbone of the U.S. labor force always seemed so natural to me.  It was at DFL conventions that urban and rural interests got to better understand each other.

So, it was with great pride and a lot of nostalgia, that I read about the Tractorcade to Madison, Wisconsin to protest the recent legislation cutting off the collective bargaining rights of public workers.

In the video embedded below and recorded at the Tractorcade demonstration, one farmer explains why the workers' struggle is "a farmer's issue." Hubert Humphrey must be smiling down on him.

Thanks to Twitterer, Peter Patau @MadisonGuy for posting the video stream on his website. There is a slide show of fascinating photos from the Wisconsin protest posted on Peter's website as well. The picture posted above is from that selection.


Blogger rachel said...

The farmer in the video is Tony Schultz who, together with his wife Kat Becker and two sons, operate Stoney Acres Farm in Athens, Wisconsin. Another of Tony's speeches at the event is posted on YouTube.

3/17/2011 4:01 PM  

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