Washington Post: Jon Tester could teach Democrats a lot about rural America — if he can keep his Senate seat

BIG SANDY, Mont. — When Sen. Jon Tester was 9 years old, he had a job: take meat from cows slaughtered on his family’s farm and feed it into the steel maw of a meat grinder. The motor took it from there, pushing the beef through four spinning blades and then squeezing it, like toothpaste, out a series of small holes. It was a powerful, dangerous machine, something Tester learned the hard way the day it sliced off three of his fingers.

He doesn’t remember his left hand slipping in but remembers pulling it out. Blood splattered the walls of the butcher shop. Tester pressed his right hand over the wound to stop the bleeding, pushing so hard his bones bore holes into his palm. He was in too much shock to feel pain.

His mother whisked him to their blue 1965 Pontiac Bonneville station wagon and high-tailed it to the closest hospital.