Shelly Ziesch is a friendly and familiar face within the NDFU family. She has been a member and an irreplaceable staple in the organization for a long time.

“I’ve been involved my whole life,” Shelly said. “My grandparents and my parents grew up in NDFU so naturally I followed.”

Shelly is president of Kidder County Farmers Union and coordinates the EPIC program. She has hit many milestones throughout her lifetime involvement with NDFU. She earned her Torchbearer award and that was just the beginning. Shelly and her husband Robin were an FUE couple and are currently in the Grow to Lead program at NDFU. This year she was elected as a delegate to the National Farmers Union Convention, is actively involved with the WILD program and is vice chair of the Next Generation Advisory Council.

In her community, Shelly holds a variety of diverse leadership and volunteer roles. She is a volunteer fire fighter, the squad leader for Pettibone Quick Response Unit, 4-H leader, KC Post Prom Party President and she is on the Kidder County FSA county committee.

She is passionate about NDFU and her community.

Her advice to women who are hesitant to get involved: “Even if you don’t think you have time, you can make time,” Shelly said. “You feel good participating in worthwhile causes, and it’s rewarding to know that your voice is important.”

The most influential woman in Shelly’s life is her mother.

“She not only helped farm and ranch, but she had an off-farm job before it was normal,” Shelly said. “Now it’s common to see people with an off-farm job, but back then, it wasn’t.”

Like her mother, Shelly works off the farm. She is a medical transcriptionist for Jamestown Regional Medical Center.

A deep-rooted theme in Shelly’s life is family. It is evident in her personal life and in her experience with NDFU.

“Whenever you go to an event, there is someone there who has done what you’re doing and knows what you’re going through. It’s nice to be able to visit and have an extended family,” Shelly said.

Shelly’s experiences with NDFU are a unique aspect of her life. The family theme rings true and continues to grow stronger.

“I think it’s crazy that a lot of people I went to camp with are still involved, and I run into them all the time. I just think that is so cool,” Shelly said. “I don’t think you get that with any other group.”

— Chelsey Jacobson, NDFU