Lori Sokolowski has lived in Cherokee County her entire life, growing up on a farm and now living on a farm with her husband, Dick. They have four children whose families all live in Cherokee County. They have eight grandchildren.
Lori attended two years of advanced business education and followed through with continual marketing classes for her own business expansion. In 1976, the Sokolowskis started their own farming operation. Lori started her own livestock business in 1983 and added new marketing networks with other area producers. Recently, the Sokolowski’s son and his family took over part of the farming operation. Last year, Lori added a new job to her responsibilities in working with people with disabilities.
Lori has been an advocate for rural Northwest Iowans for the past 10 years. In 1998, she joined the Iowa Farmers Union after selling market hogs for $8/cwt. Lori saw the need for an organization that would help family farmers survive this crisis. She organized the Siouxland Chapter of IFU in Northwest Iowa in 2001and has received several National Farmers Union Leadership Awards. As a board member, Lori was appointed to the legislative and membership committees. She has educated Iowa legislators in a bipartisan basis, advocating rural issues. Lori worked on promoting rural, sustainable and independent livestock production. She also promoted sustainable energy independence, protecting our Iowa environment and advocating rural health care reform for people with disabilities and chronic diseases.
Lori has been to Washington, D.C., several times to work with Congress for the National Farmers Union. She helped with the drafting the 2002 and 2007 Farm Bills. Rural issues that she saw the need to address were the Rural Development Title, Farm and Nutrition Program. Lori participated in a coalition of agricultural organizations supporting a Competition Title and Conservation Security Program. She has also advocated reforming anti-trust laws and accepting fair international trade agreements. Lori worked on a USDA feasibility study within a 100-mile radius of Sioux City to sell processed meat and fresh produce in institutions. That study was expanded to help start the farmers market on Fifth Street in Sioux City.
Lori has used her grassroots experience from the Farmers Union to organize and volunteer with Democratic political campaigns in Iowa’s 5th District. She is the secretary of the Cherokee County Democratic Central Committee.
Lori’s other community involvement includes: the Cherokee County Eminent Domain Commission, the Cherokee County Farm Bureau, the Galva-Holstein Ag, the First Cooperative Elevator-Cherokee and the North Star Community Credit Union. Lori is a member of Immaculate Conception Church, volunteering as a Eucharistic minister and lector. She also serves on the Religious Education Board.