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Julie Alexander

By Alex Cash

JTV Contributor

Making the shift to state legislator came very naturally to Julie Alexander. Having a career as a farmer for 31 years as well as a teacher, she was used to habitually putting in seven days’ worth of work in a week. Being up early tending to farm responsibilities and staying up late grading papers, time spent working was nothing that Alexander shied away from.  

Working hard is what she has continued to do in her 18 month stint as member of the Michigan House of Representatives from the 64th District. With six months left in her first term in this office, she truly loves what she does. Her job is not a typical nine to five. As she answers the question of what she likes to do for fun, it is evident that service to her constituents is imparted on nearly everything that she does.

“Recently I went out for dinner with my husband and another couple. The other couple was having some issues with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). That meant follow-up calls to the DEQ the next day.” Though Alexander has weekly office hours she serves her constituents wherever they are, whether it is running into them in the grocery store or on their front porch when knocking on doors.

Alexander mentions gardening and reading outside as hobbies of hers, which she can’t seem to fit into her schedule right now. “It’s such an incredible honor to be serving and to be doing what I am right now and this is just a point in my life that I don’t have a lot of downtime.”

In addition to her work as a state legislator Alexander’s family owns Na-Lar Farms in Hanover. After many years of dropping milk values, her family made the financial decision to sell their dairy cows and end the dairy service that their farm had provided for generations. However, throughout Alexander’s 31-year marriage to her husband they grew and diversified the farm by 1,000 acers. Corn, soybeans, hay, and wheat, also known as cash crops, are still thriving components of their business.

A reality of this job, Alexander admits, is that not everyone can be satisfied all of the time. “There are votes we have to take in Lansing that not everyone is pleased with, but I still value hearing what it is about that legislation that someone doesn’t like. Ultimately I have 90,000 constituents and I have to reflect on the bigger picture.”

With summer in full swing she takes full advantage of the dozens of events taking place in Jackson County where she can be among constituents. As a way to keep familial bonds strong, she likes to bring her own family along to the various ones.

After 18 months Alexander feels she has fulfilled her original promises to her constituents by listening and leading. With her weekly office hours, flexibility to meet the people where they are, and making informed decisions on behalf of the 64th district in the Michigan House of Representatives she has done just that.

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