Congressman Jim Hagedorn was born in Blue Earth, Minnesota, in 1962, to Tom and Kathleen. His formative years were spent on a 160-acre grain and livestock farm outside of Truman. Jim was part of a rich family tradition of farming, with his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all being southern Minnesota farmers. Jim and his sisters gained a firsthand understanding of farming and small business. He helped work the land, walk the bean fields, feed the hogs, maintain the property and appreciate country living and small town values.
In 1974, Jim’s father was elected to Congress to represent southern Minnesota’s Second Congressional District. Shortly thereafter the family began splitting time between Washington, D.C. and Minnesota – spending the school year in the Virginia suburbs of D.C. and returning each summer to the Truman farm. Through Jim’s unique perspective on national politics, Jim earned respect for notable leaders including Jack Kemp, Henry Hyde and Ronald Reagan, who, along with his father, are Jim’s political heroes.
During high school, Jim saved for college and his first automobile by delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, and teaching tennis as an assistant professional. Beginning at age 18, Jim worked full-time jobs as a busboy and salesman to self-finance his college education. Jim attended George Mason University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics.
In 1984, Jim began serving Minnesota’s Seventh District as Republican Congressman Arlan Stangeland’s legislative assistant. Jim handled an array of issues and successfully managed the Congressman’s legislative agenda, including stewardship of a bipartisan “workfare” bill that required able-bodied welfare recipients to work for benefits. This bill was conceptually enacted into law shortly after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in 1994.
Jim also brings policy experience to Capitol Hill from time spent as a congressional affairs officer for two U.S. Department of the Treasury agencies as a civil servant. Under his leadership, Jim assisted in the enactment of several efforts to reform government and to drive down costs for the American taxpayer.
On January 3, 2019, Jim was sworn in to represent Minnesota’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The First District includes 21 counties from South Dakota to Wisconsin, along the Iowa border. Jim married Jennifer Carnahan in 2018. He resides in his hometown of Blue Earth and worships at St. Paul Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Blue Earth.
Jim serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Small Business to promote farming, Main Street enterprises and southern Minnesota’s rural way of life.