James Eigenberg | County Commissioner | Jackson County, Minnesota

James Eigenberg, who has served as County Commissioner for Jackson County in Minnesota since 2016, wields great patience, strong interpersonal relationship skills, and negotiation expertise in his role—through which he does “almost everything.” A representative of the local government and co-ops, he is responsible for budgeting, buildings, and personnel. In addition, the lifelong Minnesotan has been an active grain farmer—whose responsibilities span general farm labor and management—since 1987. However, he doesn’t consider himself a very successful person; instead, he said, he attributes the success he’s experienced to “working hard and getting involved.”

When he was a junior in high school, Mr. Eigenberg was nominated as the boys’ state alternate, for which he went on a trip to the county seat. On that day, he and two others toured the county, which became very inspirational as he saw firsthand how important local governments were and how commissioners ran the counties. It never left his head. Years later, he considered the highlight of his career to be when he was elected for the first time in 2016. He has two more years left in his full-time commissioner role before he’s up for his next reelection; he intends to weigh his options and consider several career opportunities, including other political positions.

For now, however, Mr. Eigenberg finds it extremely rewarding to drive across the county and see locals go about their daily lives. He is passionate about government and providing services to a community he loves. In regard to the future generation, he hopes that good people get involved in their communities, saying, “Do your homework, stick to your guns, try to achieve your goals as best as you can…and you have to remember that this is a democracy, regardless of what other people think.”

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