Women’s History Month highlight: farm upbringing provides know-how for a career in trades





Georgiann Hersch, chief operator with WBI Energy, credits her upbringing on a dairy farm near New Salem, North Dakota, as one of the reasons for pursuing a career in the trades industry.

“I knew I could do it because of all the knowledge and exposure to hard work I had growing up on a farm,” she said.

Income potential and opportunities made it an attractive industry, too.

Georgiann got her start in the industry by getting a degree in Power and Process Plant Technology from Bismarck State College. She landed her first job in Colorado at a natural gas processing plant that turned natural gas into methanol. Eventually, she made her way back home to North Dakota.

As a chief operator for WBI Energy, she’s in charge of the day-to-day functions and duties at one of WBI Energy’s compressor stations. Compressor operators operate and maintain the compressor units and perform other maintenance duties like greasing and operating valves within the yard and on the pipeline, maintaining relief valves and regulators, and yard work like mowing grass and snow removal.

Georgiann said her favorite part of the job is the variety of work. “In winter and spring, we are doing maintenance in the yard, and the summers are spent out on the pipeline conducting line patrol,” she said.


Throughout the MDU Resources family of companies, women fill many roles in the field and in the office. March is Women’s History Month, an opportune time for us to shine the spotlight on some of our female employees, their contributions and how they’re challenging career stereotypes.