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Vicky Hartzler grew up on a rural farm in Cass County. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. in Education and Central Missouri State University with a M.S. in Education. She taught junior and senior high family and consumer sciences for 11 years in Lebanon and Belton, Missouri, before running for public office. In 1994 she ran for state representative and was elected to represent Cass and Johnson Counties. She served in the Missouri House of Representatives for six years where she advocated for legislation promoting adoption, strengthening education, and lowering taxes for working Missourians. Vicky Hartzler first won election to the U.S. House in 2010.