Senator Sheila Harsdorf was born in St. Paul, MN, in 1956, until they moved to River Falls, WI, in 1970. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in animal science. Following graduation, she returned to River Falls where she worked as a loan officer while farming part-time on the family dairy farm. Two years later she joined her brother, Jim, in a family partnership and began farming full-time. She was active in advocating for farm issues by serving on the Pierce County Farm Bureau Board of Directors (1982-88), chairing the Pierce County Dairy Promotion Committee (1986), serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pierce-Pepin Holstein Breeders Association, graduating from the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program, and coaching the Dairy Judging Team as part of her active involvement with the Pierce County 4-H Dairy Committee.
In 1988 she decided to spread her passion and run for the 30th Assembly District and won a total of five consecutive elections and finished her last term as state representative in 1998, when she took a brief reprieve to return to the family farm. Two years later, she entered the 10th State Senate race against an eight-year incumbent and was successful. She now serves parts of Burnett, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix Counties. In the State Senate, she serves on the legislature's Budget Writing Committee, the Joint Committee on Finance. During the 2015-16 legislative session, Senator Harsdorf served as chair of the Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges and as a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism and the Senate Committee on Education Reform and Government Operations. Updated: Nov 2016