SHEYENNE, N.D. — A farmer/rancher figured it was time to make his political stand in North Dakota, even though he knows his views are in the minority in the state.
"I've been a Democrat all along. It's been a little lean for us lately," joked Peter Larson of Sheyenne, a small town in Eddy County between Minnewaukan and New Rockford.
That didn't stop Larson from plowing messages in support of the Democratic presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and the North Dakota gubernatorial ticket of Dr. Shelley Lenz and Ben Vig into his fields.
Larson used his John Deere tractor and a disc to make the messages in adjacent soybean fields. He said he sketched out the words on pieces of paper to figure out the proportions before plowing the words in the field.
"I've got over 40 years of experience farming, so I've the handle for it," Larson said.
Larson said the Biden-Harris message covers about 10 acres. The "B" in Biden is about 300 feet from top to bottom, he said.
Larson, a pilot, took photos of the messages from his small Cessna airplane and sent them to his daughter Sandra, who posted the pictures on Twitter. As of Sunday night, the photo of Biden-Harris had been retweeted more than 20,000 times and "liked" nearly 132,000 times.
The Hill, a national political publication based in Washington, D.C., picked up the story.
"I guess I'm getting my 15 minutes of fame," Peter Larson said, "and about 10 minutes of it are gone."
Larson said he knows his political views are in the minority in North Dakota, which voted 63% for President Donald Trump in 2016, but said he wanted to show support for Biden because of "what's going on with the current president. It's something new every day."
He decided to show support for Lenz and Vig because, "I know how hard it is to run a statewide campaign when you're running from behind."
Lenz is an overwhelming underdog against incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Burgum.
Larson's father Bruce ran for state agriculture commissioner as a Democrat in 1984, but lost to Republican H. Kent Jones. Bruce Larson was a state representative for three terms.
Sandra Larson tweeted that the messages are on the flight path for daily flights from Devils Lake to Denver.