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Brent Olson
34596 690th Avenue
Ortonville, MN 56278
320-273-2297 (Home)

What I’ve Done


Back page columnist for “Living the Country Life”

Correspondent for Successful Farming’s online magazine, “”

Syndicated column, “Independently Speaking”

Author of “Letters from a Peasant,” “The Lay of the Land,” “Still Whistling,” and “Papa”

Winner, “Best Regular Column” American Agricultural Editors Association in 2010 and 2013, “Best Humorous Article” in 2012, “Master Writer” 2012

Merit Award, Best Regional Book, Midwest Independent Publishers Association 2001

In the past ten years I have filed stories from six continents

Bush Foundation Fellow, 2012

Big Stone County Commissioner for ten years

Chair, Pioneerland Library System Board

First Board of Directors, Northern Growers LLC

First Board of Directors, Big Stone County Pork Producers

Owner, Manager, Executive Chef, Head Waiter at The Inadvertent Café

Board of Ordained Ministry, United Methodist Church

Leader of five international work teams, United Methodist Church

Farmed in Big Stone County, 30 years

Eleven years as youth director, Ortonville United Methodist Church

Married for 39 years, three children with college educations, no student loans, and jobs

Who I Am

When someone offers me help my instinctive response is to say, “No, thanks, I can do anything.”  It has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years.

I still say it.

I once shot myself in the hand with a rifle while preparing for a Norwegian-Philippine-French Independence Day Celebration.

One of my books is in Pete Seeger’s bathroom.

I once took a group of other people’s children to stay in the ghetto of a developing nation where our body guard was a thirteen year old girl named Lauri.

I don’t own a wristwatch but I’m always on time.

I know all of “Silver Tongued Devil,” by Kris Kristofferson.

I once harvested 235 acres of soybeans in 17 1Ž2 hours.  It snowed that night and I had three cups of coffee the next morning before I put on my shoes.

I know what Henry the V probably really said at Agincourt was, “Let’s get ‘em boys,” but Shakespeare’s version always makes me cry.

I can castrate thirty pound pigs by myself, 3 seconds per pig.

I have an email on file from a person who drove three hundred miles to have coffee with me and said that meeting me had been on his bucket list.

I have a letter in my file cabinet that reads, in part, “I’ve completely lost all respect for you as an elected official and as a human being.”

I once drank all the whiskey with a world famous poet and told a story that my wife hates me to tell because she doesn’t like people to know what I’m capable of and when I was done the poet laughed and said, “That’s a poem.”

I’ve buried four dogs.

I love my family.

I can cope.