Enhancing lives by advocating for agriculture is something that our guests today are passionate about doing for agriculture and the families behind it. Karolyn Zurn holds many positions within the agricultural world; she is the current President of American Agri-Women, the past President of Minnesota Agri-Women, and the lead Minnesota farmer for Farmers Feed the World, a farm-journal foundation project. She was formerly appointed to Minnesota’s Agency board, was past coordinator of Common Ground agriculture advocacy group, and has also spent time serving on the boards of Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom, Minnesota Soybean Growers, and Northern Crops Institute Council. Our second guest today is Alisha Nord Donnelly, who is a fifth-generation farmer from Wolverton, Minnesota. Alisha currently resides in North Dakota where she works for the North Dakota Farm Bureau as their Southeast Field Representative, spends many hours on the road visiting with farmers and ranchers, and learns about the different policy issues within the state. Tuning in today you’ll hear all about American Agri-Women and the policies being involved, and how they’re getting the word out for other young women to get into a career in agriculture. We also hear from our guests about their current jobs and the organizations that have molded and influenced them as they were growing up, like 4-H and the FFA. Stay tuned for all this and more!
Sn. 2, #13 Agri-Women, Policies, and Advocating for Agriculture, with Karolyn Zurn and Alisha Nord
Emily received her BA in Women’s Studies and JD from Temple University. Early on, she worked as a legal advocate for women in domestic violence cases. After practicing law, Emily began working on the business side of things. She is the co-owner of AAA School of Trucking, a truck and heavy equipment safety training firm, which she has spent the last 10 years growing into a thriving national business through government and military contracting and corporate partnerships.
As an executive in the transportation industry, darting from client meeting to trucking range required safety boots that met her style standards, and when she couldn’t find them anywhere, she created Juno Jones Shoes. Emily trained in shoemaking in Cuernavaca, Mexico and at the Brooklyn Shoe Space, and assembled a powerhouse team of designers, consultants, and industry experts to bring Juno Jones to life. Through Juno Jones Shoes, Emily is fulfilling her dream of not only providing women with safe, stylish footwear options for their jobs but of helping to normalize and empower women in traditionally male-dominated fields.
For more information go to junojonesshoes.com.
Karolyn Zurn and Alisha Nord
Alisha Nord Donnelly
Alisha Nord Donnelly is a 5th generation farmer from Wolverton, Minnesota. Her family raises corn, soybeans, hay and registered black Angus cattle. Alisha grew up being heavily involved in 4-H, FFA and the National Junior Angus Association. Her love for showing livestock started at a young age. She competitively showed hogs, market lambs and cattle through her years growing up.
Alisha attended North Dakota State University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications, with an emphasis in animal science and extension education. Alisha was involved in many campus clubs and was proud to represent her graduating class as the commencement speaker – GO BISON!
Alisha currently resides just west of Valley City, North Dakota with her husband Dan. She works for North Dakota Farm Bureau as their Southeast Field Representative. She spends many hours on the road visiting with farmers and ranchers about the future of Agriculture and enjoys learning about the different policy issues within the state. When she isn’t on the road for work, she is usually headed down the interstate to another cattle show. Alisha also enjoys camping, fishing, bison tailgating and spending time with her family and corgis, Gemma, Finnegan and Dolly.
Karolyn farms with her husband, Bill, and 2 sons at Callaway, MN where they raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sugarbeets and wheat. The Zurn’s have 5 grown children that all presently work in some sort of agriculture position. They also have 13 grandchildren. She misses the days of 4-H, FFA and Rodeo, working with her kids on these projects. She also was employed by Procter & Gamble as a Sales and Marketing Representative.
Karolyn holds many positions within the agriculture world. Currently she holds the position of President for American Agri-Women, Past President of Minnesota Agri-Women, American Agri-Women and Lead Minnesota Farmer for Farmers Feed the World a Farm Journal Foundation project. Formerly she had been appointed by Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue the Minnesota Farm Service Agency Board. Recently past she spent time serving as a Minnesota Ag in the Classroom director, Minnesota Soybean Director, Chair of Northern Crops Institute and Coordinator for Commonground, an agriculture advocacy group. Through the Northern Crops Institute and working with the soybean growers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota I was able to talk soybean trade with Viet Nam, China, Philippines, Japan and other South East Asian countries including African states. These same countries sent trade teams to our farm where they could see first-hand how we grow our crops.