Theresa Greenfield grew up on a family farm, where she and her four siblings learned the value of hard work and self-reliance. Her father encouraged his daughters to do everything the boys did on the Greenfield farm, and at 16, Theresa and her sister began helping with the family crop-dusting business. When the farm crisis of the 1980s hit rural families like Theresa’s, she did not give up on her dream to attend college. With the help of financial aid and multiple part-time jobs, she put herself through school. Theresa married and as she and her husband were expecting their second child, he was killed in an accident at his job as a union electrical worker. As a young widow, times were tough but Theresa set out on a path to provide for her two boys as a single mom. One of the things that helped Theresa’s family stay out of poverty and get back on their feet was Social Security survivor benefits, and she’s committed to protecting Social Security against partisan attacks in Washington. Theresa worked as an urban planner and has worked in real estate and development in Iowa.
She lives with her husband Steve in Des Moines and together they have four grown children: Tanya, a media specialist; Nick, a horticulturist; Phil, a healthcare consultant; and Dane, a soldier in the U.S. Army.