Winner:Oliver H. Kelley

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Winning Nomination

Oliver H. Kelley, Minnesota pioneer and farmer, transformed Minnesota through his early efforts at creating community. His early efforts centered on helping to found the Territorial Agricultural Society in 1853 and the Minnesota Fruit Growers Association in 1866. Both of these organizations were founded to help improve agriculture and individual families. Both of these organizations continue to today---positively impacting Minnesotans’ lives. The Territorial Agricultural Society is now the State Agricultural Society---they have a little fair at the end of each summer called the Minnesota State Fair. The Fruit Growers Association is now the Minnesota Horticultural Society. The most famous organization that Kelley founded is the Order of Patrons of Husbandry---better known as the Grange—in 1867. The Grange was the first successful national farming organization---bringing farming families together to relieve isolation and the educate families about new farming and domestic activities. The Grange was the first national organization of any type in America that included women as full voting members.
~Bob Quist, Elk River, MN

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