Brittney is a young farmer and small business owner from Underwood, Minnesota.
Growing up with one foot in Central Minnesota and one foot in the Twin Cities shaped Brittney into a strong advocate for rural communities. She believes more can be done to help the people of Otter Tail County have a higher quality of life. She is committed to pushing for affordable health care, a solution to the addiction epidemic, and a strong rural economy.
Brittney graduated with highest honors from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Plant Science, with minors in Applied Economics and International Agriculture. During her time at the University of Minnesota she was chosen by the U.S. Department of State to represent the United States for two diplomatic programs: the Critical Language Scholarship in Chandigarh, India and the Gilman Scholarship in Dakar, Senegal.
Brittney is passionate about agriculture and food security. She has spent her entire professional career working to make Minnesotan Agriculture more efficient. She currently works as a District Technician at the East Otter Tail Soil & Water Conservation District.
During the growing season, Brittney spends much of her time on local farms talking to farmers about irrigation and nutrient management. Working with the farmers in the County has exposed Brittney to the common problems faced by Otter Tail County farmers.
Her policy experience began at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences Policy Engagement Program. As a PEP Fellow, Brittney worked with elected officials from across Minnesota on approaches to bipartisan policy development based on issues that impact rural communities.
She has since organized two community conversations with United States House Representative Collin Peterson about Healthcare and the Federal Farm Bill. She believes the best way to have representatives be accountable to their constituents is to bring them to the cities they represent. She hopes to continue this advocacy in St. Paul.
Brittney’s fondest childhood memories include boating on Big Cormorant Lake, jumping in the straw piles at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher’s Reunion, and snowmobiling at the Old Timers’ Run. When not farming or working, she enjoys playing her fiddle at the Battle Lake Nursing Home and processing the wool she produces on her farm. In the coming year, she is looking forward to fencing her pasture, training her dog and two cats (both of whom were adopted from the Fergus Falls Humane Society), and spending time with her aunt and uncle, Faye Smiley-Aakre and Ron Aakre, of Rollag, MN.