The WILD Program at North Dakota Farmers Union strives to help women become leaders. Each month, NDFU will spotlight a member. This month, District 6 Director Ellen Linderman is in the spotlight.

Ellen first became involved in NDFU in 1976 when she and husband Charles Linderman returned to the state to begin farming. Charles grew up in Farmers Union, so it seemed like a natural fit for them to join the organization. Since that time, Ellen has been extremely active in many different organizations and is also currently on the Board of Directors for the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC).

She grew up on a farm where her mom was active and a good role model.

“She always put herself out there for everyone else in the family and gave them a chance to express themselves,” Ellen said.

Her mother passed away 20 years ago, but she would love to be able to tell her she was the inspiration for all she has accomplished.

Recently, she has been involved with the Farmer-to-Farmer Program and went on a trip to Africa that left a very big impression. She had the opportunity to listen and speak to them about their culture and ways of farming.

It is easy to get pulled into negativity, but Ellen is persistent about keeping a positive attitude and a “yes we can!” spirit.  Especially in the midst of today’s political world, it is easy to get discouraged about the political process, but Ellen says, “We’ve just got to keep on keeping on!”

She is always on the lookout for new challenges and leadership roles because it allows her to have a voice and an opportunity to express herself. Ellen expressed the importance of getting involved and not passing up on any opportunities. Even though she is very active and involved, she still wishes she would have gotten involved much sooner in life than she did.

“It is common with women to not take on roles of leadership because they are raising families, which is amazing, but they need the opportunity to step up in leadership as well,” Ellen said. “Anybody can make a difference. Follow your passions. If everyone could do that, it would be a much better world. We all have talents, we just have to use them.”