A candid, down-to-earth account of Iowa junior senator and veteran Joni Ernst’s journey from farm girl to politician, and how those values inform her current political career in Washington, DC.
The daughter of hardworking farmers, Joni Ernst has never been afraid of rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty. Raised in rural Iowa, a typical day of chores involved cleaning stalls, hauling grain, and even castrating hogs. While this may sound like a far cry from a life in politics, growing up on a farm was Joni’s initiation into American values. Joni developed grit and farm-bred tenacity, attributes that served her well both as a Lieutenant Colonel in the military and as an underdog candidate in the US senate. Today, Joni challenges leaders who aren’t willing to shrug off their neatly pressed suits and get dirty—literally or figuratively.
In this inspiring memoir, Joni recounts her struggle as a woman in a boys’ club—both in the military and the senate—and how she has risen above to become a successful politician and role model. Senator Ernst is well known and respected for her willingness to hold Washington accountable and her demand for bipartisanship in a time of fierce tribalism. Daughter of the Heartland tells her incredible story in four parts, defined by the values she’s learned along the way—leadership, service, courage, and gratitude.
Written in an honest and compelling voice, Daughter of the Heartland is Joni’s inspirational story of finding her power as a champion for Iowa, a defender of our armed forces, and a voice for women.
Joni Ernst is a politician and former military officer serving as the senator for Iowa since 2015. After graduating from Iowa State University, Joni joined the United States Army Reserves. In 2003, she served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq, leading 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Joni retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard after twenty-three years of military service. In November 2014, Joni was elected as the first woman to serve in federal elected office from the State of Iowa and also became the first female combat veteran elected to serve in the United States Senate.