A 5th generation North Dakotan, Jessica was born and raised in the legislative district she now represents on a ranch north of Dodge, ND, helping build a farming and ranching operation that currently manages over 500 cattle. Jessica was also instrumental in starting White Barn beef, a small business developed from the ranching operation which distributes locally sourced beef to a number of commercial entities in Mercer County.
Following graduation from Golden Valley High School, Jessica attended North Dakota State University and in 2006 received a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management and Bachelor of Science in Economics and is currently pursuing her Master's in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota.
This work ethic and knowledge base led her to a career in the mining industry, focusing on land management and environmental stewardship while also helping her develop a deep understanding of the need for good government.
Jessica has served as the North Dakota State Senator for District 33 since 2012 representing a three county area in the west central part of the state, including Mercer, Morton and Oliver. District 33 was reconfigured in 2022 Special Legislative Session and now has added part of McLean County. She is currently chairman of the Finance and Taxation Committee and a senior member, and previous chairman, of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. In prior legislative sessions, Jessica has served on the Industry, Business and Labor Committee, numerous interim committees and was chosen by her colleagues as a member of the Legislative Management Committee in 2015 and 2021. She is also an executive member of the Energy Council, a group of state legislators who shape energy policy across the nation, an executive member of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board and an Aspen Rodel Fellow, a program that seeks to enhance the underlying values and principles of democracy with the nation’s most promising young political leaders.
Always focused on sound public policy, Jessica works to responsibly expand behavioral health services for our vulnerable populations, in both our rural and urban areas and has long been a champion of local control in the education of our students.
A citizen legislator, Jessica works as the Environmental Manager of Northern Operations for North American Coal. She's been involved with energy production in North Dakota since 2004, serving in the environmental department in many capacities at different mining operations.
Jessica serves on both the Beulah Wellness Center Foundation and Knife River Care Center board of directors. She previously served as a supervisor on the Mercer County Soil Conservation District Board, president of the local pre-school and youth minister at St. Joseph’s Church.
Jessica resides in Beulah, ND with her husband, Michael, and two teenage daughters, Ella and Eva.