Donna Grann has spent her entire life working, supporting and promoting North Dakota’s rural lifestyle. The 55-year-old was born and raised on a ranch, spent 29 years with the North Dakota Farm Service Agency in Benson and Eddy counties as a program technician and currently is fulfilling her lifelong passion of working on the farm and ranch.
“She was able to take an early retirement in 2012 (from the FSA) and begin a full-time career working and raising their family on the farm and ranch. Coming back to their farm and ranch fulfilled a dream of hers that she had at a very young age,” said Rodger Wetzel, who nominated Grann for Country Woman of the Year.
While working with the FSA for 29 years, Grann helped the state’s farmers and ranchers secure the best possible benefit from their programs such as crop and acreage reporting, commodity price support, disaster relief, conservation and other available resources. She was very proud of her work.
“I sincerely loved working with the farmers. You realize you aren’t the only one being impacted by legislation, weather and prices. It’s always nice to visit with other farmers,” Grann said.
Grann is passionate about a lot of things, including her family, community and church. Today she divides her time between many organizations; the North Central Soil Conservation District board, an Area I Representative on the State Soil Conservation Committee, Sheyenne-New Rockford Baseball, Seven Dolors Catholic Church Council and rodeo. In fact, there isn’t much Grann doesn’t do from a horse.
“She has always been involved with horses. She enjoys ranching on horseback, raising a few horses and especially barrel racing and rodeo. She is considered one of the best rodeo barrel racing teachers and rodeo volunteers in North Dakota,” said Wetzel.
In addition to rodeo, Grann actively supports the beef industry.
“She has a strong desire to get beef back on America’s plates,” said Wetzel. “She is committed to getting the information out on the positives of wholesome farm fresh foods.”
John and Donna Grann farm and ranch 23 miles southwest of Devils Lake. They have four children: Benjamin, 30, (married to Brittany), Bobbi, 28, Lacey, 23, and Johnny is an 11th-grader at New Rockford/Sheyenne Public School.
Grann encourages her fellow country women to get involved in their communities.
“All farm women make an impact, but most of the time it goes unnoticed in the background. Get involved because you really do need to have your thoughts and ideas be heard,” Grann said.