Four candidates are running this year to fill two seats on the Board of Supervisors of the Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District.
The supervisor elected will serve a three-year term, beginning on Jan. 1, 2019. The board is composed of five supervisors. The duties of the board include being familiar with and understanding the land and water conditions within the entire district; developing and implementing a strategic plan and an annual plan of work for the conservation and development of natural resources of the district; and establishing sound policies and priorities concerning the work to be accomplished in conservation education and technical assistance on the land.
Fred W. Melvin and Gary Reiterman are seeking re-election to the board. Melvin has served as a supervisor since 2004. Melvin is a lifelong resident of Fayette County. He and his wife Debra have raised three sons, Benson, Clark, and Henry. He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1982 with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural mechanization and systems. He currently farms with his father, John W., and brother, John C. Melvin. The total operation has grown to 3,300 acres of owned and rented ground where they grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. Most crops are minimum tilled, with some no-till. Melvin is a member of the Fayette County Agronomy Club. Ohio Soybean Association, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, and has been a 4-H advisor. He is also a member of Grace Community Church where he is active on the finance, mission, and deacon boards.
Gary Reiterman is completing his 24th year as a supervisor for the Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District. Reiterman lives in Madison Township with his wife, Sheila. He farms approximately 2,000 acres with his son, Mike, and owns a feed elevator in Mount Sterling where his other son, John, is the manager. Most of Reiterman’s soybeans and wheat are grown for seed production. The corn is grown for feed production. Roughly 80 percent of the soybeans and 100 percent of the wheat is no-tilled. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and past president of the Fayette County Farm Bureau. Reiterman is a member of the Ohio Seed Foundation, Ohio Seed Improvement Association, and the SW Ohio Corn Growers Association. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he serves as an usher.
Jared Persinger is making his second run on the ballot. He lives in Jasper Township. He was born and raised in Fayette County on a fifth generation family farm. He said, “I am proud of my heritage and feel fortunate to be a part of this great agricultural community. I graduated from Miami Trace High School, then Ohio State University where I earned a degree in atmospheric science (meteorology) and agriculture business.
“I have chosen to be a farmer and wish to get involved in my community and make a positive contribution. I realize that farm conservation practices are vital for sustainability. It is our moral responsibility to protect soil, our greatest resource. At the same time, we need to encourage practices that protect water, wildlife, and the interests of the non-agricultural community.”
Rick Garrison, R.S.B.S., is on the ballot for the first time this year. Garrison has worked with many in the farming community and is willing to learn the needs and concerns of the people. He is seeking to work towards creating a lasting, fruitful environment for Fayette County. Originally from Highland County, he moved to Fayette County after graduating from Morehead State University with a bachelor of environmental science degree. He has been employed with Fayette County Public Health since 1999 and has served as the director of environmental health since 2003. He is married with two daughters. He is also a supply pastor with the United Methodist Church and currently serves two churches in Fayette County.
The election of supervisors of the Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District will be held in accordance with Chapter 940 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Residents or landowners, firms and corporations that own land or occupy land in the Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District and are 18 years of age and older may vote for supervisor. A non-resident landowner, firm or corporation must provide an affidavit of eligibility (sample affidavits are available from the SWCD office), which includes designation of a voting representative, prior to casting a ballot.
There are three ways an eligible voter can cast a ballot: (1) at the annual meeting/election event, which will take place Aug. 14 with voting from 5 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. at the Fayette County Farm, 2768 Old SR 38 NE, Washington Court House, OH 43160,; (2) at the SWCD office until 4 p.m. on Aug. 14; or (3) vote absentee by requesting the proper absentee request forms from the SWCD office at Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District, 1415 US 22 SW, Suite 500, Washington Court House OH 43160.
Aug. 9 is the last day that absentee ballots may be requested by mail. All completed absentee ballots must be received at the Fayette SWCD office by 4 p.m. on Aug. 14.
The annual meeting will be held jointly with Fayette County Farm Bureau. Tickets are $10 per person. You do not have to buy a ticket in order to vote. Please RSVP by Aug. 6 by calling the Farm Bureau office at 937-382-4407.
Call Chet Murphy at 740-636-0279 or [email protected] for more information.