Growing up on an irrigated corn and potato farm in southeast North Dakota opened my eyes to the benefits farmers provide to our country. It also left me with a first-hand appreciation for the challenges producers face in their day-to-day operations. As children, my siblings and I helped my family with water and land improvement projects, including removing debris from a county drain. My grandfather passed his passion for irrigation, water management, and land improvement onto his children, and eventually to me. Helping my family taught me directly about agriculture, and in particular, the benefits and challenges of water management. I took these lessons with me to North Dakota State University and graduated with a B.S. degree in agricultural economics.
I attended Drake University Law School because I knew I wanted to focus my legal career on agriculture and natural resources. My time on the farm taught me the importance of hard work, consistency, and dedication, which are three values I use each day to help landowners, farmers, and local governments manage natural resources.