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Breaking the Ice: Raising bulls fulfills senator’s childhood dream

Name: Julie Rosen
Title: Senator, District 23
Education: B.S., agronomy, Colorado State University

Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, had to wait awhile to achieve a childhood dream. But evidence that she has stares down from her office wall in the form of the mounted head of prize bucking bull Cooper.

“I had wanted to raise bulls since I was 4 years old,” Rosen said. She got the chance 13 years ago as a stock contractor, selling bulls to the Professional Bull Riders circuit with partners Chad Berger and Clay Struve.

“It’s the bulls that are the athletes,” Rosen said. “It’s all in the breeding, all in the heart.”

Rosen, Senate Finance Committee chair, said building relationships has been key to getting things done, whether in the majority or the minority. She’s considering running for governor.

“I definitely know I could be the voice for greater Minnesota and also reach many in the Twin Cities and the suburban area,” Rosen said.

Q. What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

A. Jump right into it and say, “I need help,” or “This is what I’m going through,” or “How are the kids?” Just be consistent in how you approach me.

Q. Who was the first presidential candidate you voted for and why?

A. Ford. I probably would have voted for him. I was raised a Colorado Catholic Italian Democrat, but the Fords had a strong presence in Colorado.

Q. What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

A. “On Living” by Kerry Eagan. She is a hospice chaplain. It’s fascinating book, the adjustment in the frame of mind that you can learn from somebody who is dying.

Q. What is a pet peeve of yours?

A. Inconsistency. I don’t care if you’re angry. That’s fine. But just be consistent and say, “I’m having a tough day and this is the reason.” It’s that feeling that they have a problem with you. Because one minute they’ll be nice to you and the next minute they’re just absolutely mean to you. Inconsistency drives me crazy.

Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

A. Swimming. I swim every day if I can.

Q. If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?

A. My hometown was Fairmont, where we raised the kids, but now I live in Vernon Center. I would take them to a hog setup. If they wanted to see an ethanol plant, I would do that. I’d show them that we’ve got a lot of water, a lot of bridges, beautiful landscape down there. There’s an element of tourism. But agriculture moves and drives that whole area. I would want to convey to them that it is big business.

Q. How has an event or person inspired you (personally, politically, professionally)?

A. [Former state Sen.] Duane Benson. He’s still my very good friend. He helped me through the Vikings stadium. He helps me through a common sense approach. I’d call him my reality check.

Q. What would be one way to end partisan polarization?

A. The biggest way is just having a conversation with them and giving them 110 percent of your attention. When you know where someone’s coming from, you can have not only sympathy but you can start being creative with solutions.

Q. Where do you like to eat lunch?

A. Cup N’ Saucer in Sherburn, Minnesota, (a diner that Seth and Elizabeth Lintelman won in an essay-writing contest). This young couple, one of them was raised in the area, wanted to move back. The husband was a chef up here. Best hamburger I’ve ever had. This place has amazing food.

Q. Is there someone at the Capitol who you think does a lot of work without getting a lot of credit?

A. Eric Nauman and his [nonpartisan] staff. I think he rocks. Donna “Dee” Vange who takes care of my office or any of the people who take care of the Capitol and these offices.  I think the world of them because they really love taking care of the Capitol, and it shows.

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