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Viewpoint: From one ranch kid to another, Tranel the right pick for Congress

Rep. Connie Keogh

“If there’s a job to do, just do it!”

That’s what my dad always told me growing up on our family ranch near the Beartooth Mountains, and his words still echo in my head as I roll up my sleeves to represent Montanans in the state legislature. Monica Tranel has demonstrated that same work ethic throughout her life and career.

Ranch kids don’t have a lot of options when chores need doing, whether it is feeding the bum lambs or galloping out to bring the cows home. Somebody has to do it! Armed with her own eastern Montana ranching background, Monica not only has the proven grit and determination to dive into hard work, she has the knowledge and skills to represent all Montanans.

Chief among her efforts will be to work towards sustainable solutions that create strong families, strong communities, and a strong economy by supporting public education, clean energy, and fairness in our food system.    

As a public-school teacher for over 20 years and a proud member of teacher unions, I can tell you that Monica understands that our kids need to be “school ready” when they enter Kindergarten. Right now, Montana and our country are woefully lagging behind in early childhood education, and the impact of this will be seen for decades. 

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, , the United States  ranks 35th out of 37  other industrialized countries for public investment in child care from birth to five.  Only about half of the 3 and 4 year old children in the United States are enrolled in an early education program compared to 90% in other countries like Germany, France, Korea, United Kingdom and Latvia. These are deficits that will impact Montana’s society and economy for decades and need to be reversed.

One of Monica’s priorities is to spearhead efforts to create high-quality early childhood programs and make sure all kids have the quality school education and support they need to succeed in life.  

Although passing Clean Energy initiatives has been an uphill battle at the state level, a quick, thoughtful transition to wind, solar, and other sustainable energy resources is vital for the future of Montana’s economy and environment. Monica understands that by supporting clean energy incentives and other forward-thinking initiatives, she will not only be looking out for our collective future, she will help us jump on the enormous economic opportunities that clean energy offers.

Her leadership and knowledge about our natural resources and her faith in Montana ingenuity will help us make smart decisions about this energy transition, creating healthier air and water, and the stable climate our children and grandchildren need to thrive. 

Agriculture and our rural communities remain as vital to Montana as when we gained statehood in 1889. At local, state, and national levels, we must create opportunities where healthy, local food is available and affordable to all, where animals are treated humanely, and where informed consumers support strong local food systems. Restoring Country-of-Origin Labeling is a key to letting consumers know where and how their food is produced, while the right to repair farm equipment removes unfair economic barriers to competitiveness. Monica believes in a future where fair prices are paid and all labor is valued so that family agriculture can thrive.

Montanans deserve the best representation in the nation, and whether it comes to education, energy, or agriculture, Monica understands that we have to act boldly to protect our Montana way of life and ensure a prosperous future for generations that follow. It is for these reasons and more that I thank you for voting for Monica Tranel this June and November.    

Representative Connie Keogh  HD 91