Olaug Bollestad

Olaug Vervik Bollestad (born 4 November 1961) is a Norwegian nurse and politician for the Christian Democratic Party who is a member of Parliament for Rogaland since 2013 and party leader since 2021. She served as Minister of Agriculture and Food from 2019 to 2021.[1]

Olaug Bollestad
Olaug Bollestad (KrF).JPG
Minister of Agriculture and Food
In office
22 January 2019 – 14 October 2021
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded byBård Hoksrud
Succeeded bySandra Borch
Minister of Children, Family and Church Affairs
In office
20 September 2021 – 14 October 2021
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded byKjell Ingolf Ropstad
Succeeded byKjersti Toppe
First Deputy Leader of the Christian Democratic Party
In office
8 May 2015 – 13 November 2021
LeaderKnut Arild Hareide
Kjell Ingolf Ropstad
Succeeded byDag Inge Ulstein
Leader of the Christian Democratic Party
Assumed office
13 November 2021
Acting: 24 September - 13 November 2021
First DeputyDag Inge Ulstein
Second DeputyIngelin Noresjø
Preceded byKjell Ingolf Ropstad
In office
17 January 2019 – 27 April 2019
Preceded byKnut Arild Hareide
Succeeded byKjell Ingolf Ropstad
Member of the Storting
Assumed office
1 October 2013
DeputyGeir Sigbjørn Toskedal
Hadle Rasmus Bjuland
Mayor of Gjesdal
In office
1 January 2007 – 1 October 2013
DeputyFrode Fjeldsbø
Preceded byKarl Edvard Aksnes
Succeeded byFrode Fjeldsbø
Personal details
Born (1961-11-04) 4 November 1961 (age 60)
Strand, Rogaland, Norway
Political partyChristian Democratic
Spouse(s)Jan Frode Bollestad


Early careerEdit

Educated as a nurse, she worked as department manager at Stavanger University Hospital before she became mayor. She was elected to the municipal council of Gjesdal in 2003.[2]

Mayor of GjesdalEdit

She served as mayor of Gjesdal from 2007 to 2013, when she was elected to the Parliament of Norway in the 2013 Norwegian parliamentary election where she was nominated in the first spot on the Christian Democratic Party's ballot for Rogaland.[3]

During her first tenure as mayor, she led a coalition with the Labour Party, Centre Party and Socialist Left Party. The Socialist Left Party dropped out of the coalition following the 2011 local elections, but Bollestad continued to lead a coalition with the Labour and Centre parties. Following her resignation to take her seat in Parliament, she was said to have been “disappointed” with the Labour Party taking over the mayorship in Gjesdal.[4]

Party deputy leaderEdit

At the party convention in May 2015, she was elected the first deputy leader of the party.[5]

In September to November 2018, during the Christian Democratic path choice between a Labour or Conservative led cabinet choice, Bollestad co-led the faction who favoured to enter the Solberg cabinet, alongside Kjell Ingolf Ropstad. It was widely unexpected that she would go against party leader Knut Arild Hareide’s advice. The Solberg favouring faction ended up winning the most votes at the party special convention on 2 November 2018.[6]

After Hareide’s resignation on 17 January 2019,[7] Bollestad took over as acting leader until the party elected Kjell Ingolf Ropstad as Hareide’s successor at the party convention on 27 April.

Following Ropstad’s resignation on 18 September 2021, the party central board announced that he would step down on 24 September and Bollestad would become acting leader.[8]

In October 2021, Bollestad presented her candidacy for party leader. Her only other liable opponent for the position, Dag Inge Ulstein, withdrew, therby making Bollestad the presumptive new leader to succeed Kjell Ingolf Ropstad.[9]

The Christian Democratic election committee designated Bollestad as the new party leader on 1 November.[10]

Minister of Agriculture and FoodEdit

Following the party’s negations to enter the Solberg cabinet, she was appointed minister of agriculture and food on 22 January 2019.

In May, Bollestad accepted the resignation of Harald Gjein, the director of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority following revelations that the Authority had conducted a supervisory case against a fur farmer in Rogaland, where they had prepared an incorrect report. Bollestad said she had taken his resignation into consideration and thanked him for his service. She further said that “We depend on the Food Safety Authority having a good reputation, that it has the trust of farmers, food producers, us consumers and the public sector”. The Centre Party’s Geir Pollestad, called on Bollestad to give an explanation to the Storting about the situation.[11]

In July, Bollestad stated that the farmers feel the impact of climate change on the bottom line. She further said: “It is very important that we are as self-sufficient as possible, and the differences between the grain crops last year and this year show how weather dependent we are. The crops are not only about politics, but also about Our Lord giving us good weather”.[12]

She expressed frustration over local politicians who wanted to downsize agricultural land. To Aftenposten in July 2020, she said “It is important for municipal politicians that they do not demolish the cultivated land. If we are to increase the self-sufficiency of vegetables, they must not do so”.[13]

In November, following concerns expressed by Socialist Left’s Arne Nævra that Norway also should kill minks like Denmark, Bollestad responded by saying that the situation was completely under control, and added that Norway had fewer minks then Denmark, also spread over farms in a different way.[14]

In December, after getting her hunting license, Bollestad visited the Norwegian Association of Hunters and Anglers in Drøbak to mark their 150th anniversary. She also joined them to hunt deer.[15]

In January 2021, Bollestad reassured that there were sufficient amount of food and no shortage of it after hearing people continued to hoard shops. She said that “If we start emptying the shelves, there will be a larger movement of people. If we can keep our ears open, we will distribute this to everyone”. She went on to add that people should rest assured that there are large storages of food, and that shops and pharmacies upheld their normal opening hours.[16]

At a press conference following Kjell Ingolf Ropstad’s announced resignation on 18 September 2021, Erna Solberg said that Bollestad would be appointed to succeed him on Monday, 20 September.[17][18]

Party leaderEdit

Bollestad was formally elected party leader at the party convention on 13 November, with Ulstein as first deputy and Ingelin Noresjø continuing as second deputy.[19]

On 7 December, following the government’s announcement of new COVID-19 measures, Bollestad emphasised that she understood that people were confused, saying: “I understand well if the population is confused by this. Last week, the government said we should go to julebord. Now there is a limit of 10 pieces at home. Are we now seeing the results of an unprepared government coming too late?” She went on to say: “It is good that there are measures now, but there should have been measures earlier so that we could have avoided such intrusive measures”.[20]

In May 2022, she caused controversy when she proposed in an internal letter that the party’s organisation should be centralised in order to become more appealing in future elections. Her proposal included centralising the party’s respective county leaders and for it to be replaced by a singular “organisation leader” in Oslo, together with 11-13 “organisation developers”. Several county chapters viewed the proposed plan negatively, noting that the party would loose touch with locals and municipalities without a local chapter.[21][22]

Personal lifeEdit

She is married to Jan Frode Bollestad, and is a member of the Norwegian Baptist Union.[2]


  1. ^ "Here is the new Cabinet". Aftenposten. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b Olaug Vervik Bollestad Kommunal Rapport. Retrieved 23 September 2013 (in Norwegian)
  3. ^ To nøgde Krf-arar NRK. Retrieved 23 September 2013 (in Norwegian)
  4. ^ "Sår tvil om «sosialisten» Olaug Bollestads motiver i KrFs veivalg: - Sikkert ikke dumt for et gjenvalg" (in Norwegian). Stavanger Aftenblad. 14 October 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Olaug Bollestad" (in Norwegian). Storting.
  6. ^ "The blues won the battle for the Christian Democratic path choice" (in Norwegian). Sunnmørsposten. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Storfavoritt til å bli ny KrF-leder, men skal diskutere hjemme først" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. 18 January 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  8. ^ "KrF: Ropstad fratrer neste fredag" (in Norwegian). Fedrelandsvennen. 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Duket for Bollestad" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 13 October 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Bollestad innstilles som KrF-leder" (in Norwegian). Nettavisen. 1 November 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Mattilsynet-direktør går av etter avsløring" (in Norwegian). TV 2. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Bollestad: – Avlingene handler ikke bare om politikk, men også om Vårherre" (in Norwegian). Nettavisen. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Bollestad med klar beskjed til lokalpolitikere: Stans nedbyggingen av landbruksjorden" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. 14 July 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Landbruksministeren vil ikke avlive mink i Norge: – Dette er under kontroll" (in Norwegian). NRK. 14 November 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  15. ^ "– Jeg håper jeg klarer å skyte et rådyr i dag" (in Norwegian). TV 2. 14 December 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Bollestad ber folk unngå hamstring: – Det er ikke mangel på mat" (in Norwegian). Stavanger Aftenblad. 23 January 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Olaug Bollestad overtar som barne- og familieminister" (in Norwegian). Dagsavisen. 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  18. ^ "Bollestad overtok for Ropstad uten seremoni" (in Norwegian). ABC Nyheter. 20 September 2021. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  19. ^ "Olaug Bollestad (60) valgt til ny leder av KrF" (in Norwegian). TV 2. 13 November 2021. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  20. ^ "- Rot og rør" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 7 December 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Bollestads omstridte KrF-plan refses i lukket Facebook-gruppe" (in Norwegian). NRK. 11 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Intern KrF-splid om Bollestads sentralisering" (in Norwegian). NRK. 19 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.