If it ain’t Dutch it ain’t much! That could be the rallying cry for Monica Beets. Tony’s “favorite” of all his children — according to Monica — has been moving dirt since she was 12 years old.
Monica will be a major factor in the latest season, along with Hoffman’s son Hunter and Parker Schnabel.
All are in their early twenties, and all are poised to step into their respective father’s dirty mining boots in a big way, with Schnabel in a leadership position already. But Monica is close on his tail. She has more responsibility than ever this go-round.
Monica’s a fast-learner and her dad Tony sensed it when he placed her in a front-end loader and told her to “figure it out”.
Since her early teens, she’s been a valuable asset to Tony’s lucrative business and plans on finding loads of gold and bucking the status quo and mindset that a lot of male miners have about women in general.
Leadership comes naturally to Monica, who has hinted she may wind up being a paramedic in the future if mining loses its cachet. But for now, she’s still part of the bleepin’ Beets crew.
We spoke to her about the show, and why people should be #TeamBeets this season.
Monsters and Critics: How long have you been gold mining in your family? When was the first time you actually did work on a machine?
Monica Beets: Twelve years ago. I was 12!
M&C: Did you know for sure that you wanted to do what your dad did, or did you have other ideas?
Monica: I was never given the choice. Neither me or my brothers or my sister were. As soon as we were tall enough to reach the pedals, we were on a machine.
M&C: Mom Minnie is sort of like the power behind everything. Am I right or wrong about that?
Monica: Yes and no. Mom is…she’s…she keeps everybody together. She makes it so that we can all survive a summer working together. Her and dad are a team. I wouldn’t say one’s over the other.
M&C: Can you talk about exactly what your mother’s role is with the whole Gold Rush business that your dad has, his mining business?
Monica: Mom keeps the books so she does everything in the office. She does payroll, paying bills, ordering things online…not online, but picking up stuff. If she has to, she does the relief cooking. But mostly, she just keeps us all sane.
M&C: What you do is a tough job and if you could, please talk about the female leadership, like your mother has shown in your life, and the tough jobs you all do. Could you talk about that and some of the women you work with?
Monica: Well, Mom is a great role model. She doesn’t take s**t from anybody, which is great. Especially in a really male-oriented workforce, you have to have that attitude. You can’t let the s**t get under your skin.
You have to be strong, roll with the punches, and know that as s**tty as it is, you’re always going to have to prove yourself because you’re a woman in the work field.
M&C: And yet, you say that, but I think your father’s very progressive in his views about women and the jobs they do in mining. Can you talk about your dad?
Monica: Dad’s both. He doesn’t care what your gender is, if you’re sitting on a piece of equipment, girls can do it just as well as men can, sometimes even better. But if it’s heavy lifting or shoveling or labor, doesn’t matter if you’ve got five girls, the one guy is going to be taken for that because ‘it’s not a girl’s job’. If something needs to be cleaned, apparently that’s what we’re good for. He’s both. He’s old-fashioned, but…I don’t know.
M&C: It’s obvious that he’s very proud of you. It appears your dad probably loves all his children equally, but you seem to be…
Monica: I’m his favorite.
M&C: There’s no doubt that you love your dad. I was wondering if you can talk about the things that you…the qualities about your father that you really admire.
Monica: I don’t know. I admire his ambition, I really like how he works. He knows what he needs to do, he gets it done. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts. If something goes wrong, he doesn’t dwaddle, he just goes on to the next plan and keeps going. He doesn’t let things get to him.
M&C: He’s been very inspirational. Has he taught you pretty much how to work all of the machinery? Did he inspire you in any way or did he mentor you in any way with the hands-on learning that you had to do?
Monica: How my father teaches people, or at least his children is, ‘you see that machine? Hop on it and in an hour, when I get back, we’re going to be working on it. Figure it all out yourselves’.
M&C: Your dad is bleeped a lot on the show. His language is kind of salty. Is that a Dutch thing or is that just a Tony Beets thing?
Monica: You know what? They’re just four-letter words. My dad’s not great with the English language and those words are simple. I think that’s all that is.
I mean, he’s worked in pipelines, ice road trucking. He’s in the oil fields. He’s done a lot and when you’re in these workforces, it’s just the language. Everybody’s rude and crude.
M&C: For you, what is your favorite piece of equipment to actually work when you’re out in your spot? What do you love running?
Monica: I’m most comfortable on a 988 loader. That’s what I ran for the first four years I was working for my father. I’m just super comfortable in it. It’s fun. But as for what we do normally now, I really like running the excavator, loading trucks. I don’t like the plant — that is the worst job in the world, feeding the plant.
M&C: How do you work with your brother, Kevin? I see that he’s on your social media a lot with funny pictures and everything. Are you closest to Kevin in your day-to-day work?
Monica: I’m close with both my brothers. And at work, we just bug each other. How we show affection is we just pick on each other. We’re almost like bullies, but it’s just how we show love.
M&C: Do you bring your dogs to work?
Monica: I do. The one husky is mine and the malamute is my friend’s. But they’re best friends. Both of them will hop on a piece of equipment for a couple of hours with us…they’re camp dogs.
M&C: I noticed the show was sort of focusing on the new generation of up-and-comers on Gold Rush. What’s your relationship like with Hunter Hoffman?
Monica: I’ve met him once.
M&C: What’s your impression?
M&C: Yeah, although, he’s not much younger than you. You’re what, 23?
Monica: I’m 24 in like a week, yeah.
M&C: Oh, okay. You’re 23. He’s not that much younger than you.
Monica: About 20?
M&C: What’s your relationship like with Parker?
Monica: Parker’s fine. I don’t really socialize with other people in the creeks. But he’s…you know, seems like a hard worker. I joke with him when I see him, but that’s about it.
M&C: Who’s your favorite person to watch? When you watch the show as a viewer and not as a participant, who do you like watching the most on Gold Rush?
Monica: Super fun fact, I don’t watch the show. I can’t stand it.
Monica: So, I work in a mine 12 hours a day, seven days a week, from April to October. The show airs from October to April. I don’t want to watch what I did all summer. That’s my downtime. I don’t want to watch what I do all year.
M&C: What do you do for fun during your off time, when you’re not having to work in a mine?
Monica: I go on walks with the dog and I like to travel a lot. I do cross-stitch and native bead-work and stuff like that, crafty stuff. And do as little as possible.
M&C: Is there any other career that you would want to do other than gold mining?
Monica: I’ve taken a couple of EMR and EMS courses, like paramedics and that would be a really interesting job, I think. But, as for right now, I’m just going to mine until it’s not worth it anymore and then see where life takes me.
M&C: I think a lot of people that watch the show want to know what happens to the land that’s been kind of stripped and turned upside down? Can you share that with us?
Monica: What we do is called reclamation. The way the ground usually works is you’ve got topsoil, which is really fertile. And then under that, you’ll have probably a gravel and then under that, you’ll have your pay. So we move all the topsoil, take off the gravel, sleuth or dredge the pay.
And then what we do is we put the topsoil back on to the already mined ground and then, within two years, because we’ve got such a short season here, mining season, the ground is reclaimed. It grows…the starting of trees and in two years, if you haven’t been mining there, it’ll look like nobody’s mined there in ten years.
M&C: What would you say to any girls, any women or young girls watching the show that maybe have ideas about mining or want to do something like that, what would you advise them?
Monica: Don’t take no for an answer and just go for it. If it’s what you want to do, just go for it. And don’t let what other people think of you get you down. Because it’s not what they think that matters, it’s what you think.
M&C: Other than gold, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve pulled out of the ground or you found when sluicing that you had to get checked out or that it was really exciting to find?
Monica: Up on Paradise Hills at the mine that we have, we have a lot of black muck and in this black muck you find old buck ox bones, you find old horse bones. Last year we actually pulled out…dad spotted it…he thought it was a leather jacket in the cut but it was a some thousand-year-old carrier pack.
It was actually linked on to an archeological website. It’s actually really cool.
M&C: I guess a lot of people that watch the show want to think that you guys hang out after the show and stuff. But what really happens when they film Gold Rush? How does it work?
Monica: So each crew has their own film crew so the Hoffmans have two crews, Parker’s got two crews and we’ve got two crews. And then what they do is, one starts at whatever time the miners start and go to three-quarters of the day and the other team starts later and goes to the end of the miner’s day. And they just try to film what they can in the day.
And then, you know, so we tell if we’re doing a big move or if something exciting is going to happen. Whatever. But mostly they just catch what they catch.
M&C: What is going to be the coolest moment in Season 2 in your opinion? That you can tease with your fans?
Monica: I have no idea. I’m going to be honest about that. A personal thing for me is happening in the last episode.
M&C: Is it work-related personal, or personal personal?
Monica: Personal personal, but if it’s shown on TV…
M&C: So we can’t disclose what it is. It’s a surprise.
M&C: Anything you want to add about your dad Tony, about why people should be Team Beets this season? What would you say to sway them away from Team Parker and Team Hoffman?
Monica: We’re the ******’ best.
Gold Rush airs Fridays at 9/8c on Discovery.