Ronda Throener is the NDFU director for District 7 and has held that position for three years. When asked why she ran for the board, Ronda said that she was looking for new leadership opportunities after she and her husband, Kevin, were selected to be the first FUE couple in 2007. Through their experience as the FUE couple and from attending WILD events, Ronda decided to run for the board in 2013 and won.
Ronda has experience with North Dakota Farmers Union from when she attended the camping program in her youth. Her four children, Joseph, Isaiah, Olivia and James, also attend Farmers Union camp and EPIC events. In addition to being active members in NDFU, the Throeners are active in 4-H. Ronda was in 4-H when she was younger and her kids are following in her footsteps. Olivia is the secretary of her 4-H club and all of her children are stepping up to be leaders.
Ronda said that she is still trying to figure out how to balance being a mom and working. “No day is similar, there is always something different happening, but I just keep a planner handy at all times,” she says, sharing words of wisdom for other working moms. She attends as many of her children’s activities as she can, and she and Kevin work to raise their children to be independent.
Ronda’s role on the NDFU Board of Directors has helped her children to grow their independence since she is not always there due to traveling for her board requirements. Remaining on the board is a family decision, however. When asking her children if she should run again, her youngest made the comment, “Mom, you have to. Who else is going to be an advocate for agriculture?” Ronda feels that by witnessing her work outside of the home, it will help her sons realize that their wives can have jobs outside the home someday too, helping to break gender roles in her family.
Ronda herself grew up on a farm/ranch near Balta, N.D. Now Kevin and Ronda run a farm and ranch near Cogswell. In fact, Ronda says that her greatest achievement is starting a farm. Both Ronda and Kevin’s parents farmed, but neither of their parents were ready to leave the farm when Kevin and Ronda were starting out, so they started a farm themselves from the ground up. Ronda said that it’s not always easy to work so closely with her husband, but they have grown as a couple in the 21 years that they have been farming together. “It’s not always easy, but I love it.” she said.