Melissa grew up on her family's century farm in Carrollton, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1997 with a degree in Accountancy. She started her career in public accounting with Ernst & Young in Kansas City where she primarily worked on Sprint Telecom audits which required travel around the country.
She married Jason, her high school boyfriend, in 1999 and they moved to Ankeny so he could begin his career in corn breeding with Syngenta in Slater, Iowa. Melissa transferred with Ernst & Young to the Des Moines office where she specialized in the insurance industry and internal auditing.
In 2001, Melissa accepted a job with DuPont Pioneer in Johnston. During her years at Pioneer as a Finance Manager, she supported multiple product lines, oversaw the five-year planning initiative process and managed the performance compensation calculation and program.
In 2008, Melissa decided to leave Pioneer to stay at home to raise their three daughters. Since 2014, Melissa has been substitute teaching in the North Polk School District and working remotely on business aspects for her family's farm.
The family has called Polk City home since 2005. Melissa has occupied her time by becoming involved in community organizations, their church, volunteering in their daughters’ schools and is Treasurer of the North Polk School Foundation. In addition to volunteering and spending time with her family, her hobbies include reading, walking, and flower gardening.