At the convocation, Kanten received the Judge Henry and Helen Graven Award given each year to a person whose service to society has been exemplary and has been offered as an expression of personal faith. Kanten presented a formal address titled, ďGodís Giftsó Our Future, the Land and Its People.Ē
Kanten says of herself, ďI am a farmer, a church woman, and a political activist. My entire life has been committed to my family, my faith, and the struggle to protect the land and the families who live and struggle on that land.Ē
She has been recognized for her service by the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Wartburg Seminary, St. Olaf College (her alma mater), and by various government and service organizations.
Kanten was raised on a farm in Iowa. After graduation from St.Olaf and teaching, she and her husband, Chuck, began farming near Milan, Minnesota. In 1982, Kanten was appointed assistant commissioner of agriculture for Minnesota by the governor. In 1987, she was promoted to deputy commissioner. She has spoken and conducted workshops across the country.
In retirement, the Kantens have moved to rural New London, where she continues to be politically active and involved with the ELCA nationally and through their rural parish.
(Reprinted from the Southwest Minnesota Synod News)
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