Alvina Skogen is fearless in meeting new challenges.
In fact, she welcomes them. Upon meeting her, you quickly sense her warmth, quick intellect, and wit. She is a woman of experience and accomplishments, and a leader in many capacities, be it NDFU, Women of the ELCA, a library or township board. Alvina prides herself as a woman of the prairie, having lived through different eras in western North Dakota and having worked with four generations on the family farm.
Farmers Union and its values have played a major role in her life. Her parents were active members – her father, a treasurer of the telephone cooperative; her mother, a county youth director.
“I grew up during a time when Farmers Union locals were the rural social world,” Alvina said.
She earned her Torchbearer Award in l965; her three children are also Torchbearers. Today, their son John also serves on the Williams County board.
When asked about Farmers Union values, she lists “People – lifelong friendships, good folks who know what is important in life, and an organization that values the needs and concerns of its members.”
Education has been Alvina’s lifelong career – over 35 years of teaching in Medina, Harvey, Ray, Wildrose, and Williston schools.
“I was fortunate to find a career that was never work,” she said.
Presently, she is the Williams County EPIC Coach and a substitute teacher. EPIC coaches in surrounding counties seek out her ideas and experience as guidance.
Alvina enjoys reflecting on the influences in her life: she was blessed with wonderful parents. Her father was a kind,
hard-working, good man, and her mother, a strong farmwife and schoolteacher.
“I was surrounded by many women leaders, who were determined, innovative, and creative – church, school, NDFU, 4-H, and aunts,” she said. “Life was never easy for them, but they made the best of it, and all were committed to their children and their education.”
When asked about her greatest achievement, she, as well as her husband Gary, list their family.
“Chris, John, and Lindsay are all college graduates, responsible spouses, and community leaders,” she said.
– Molly McLain, NDFU