ELECTION 2022: Q&A for Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor

Published 3:48 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Editor’s Note: For coverage of the primary election, The Stanly News & Press sent questions to each group of candidates. We limited their responses to 200 words per answer. Answers appear as is, with the exception of editing for grammatical/ spelling errors or length. This allows potential voters to see the candidates through their own words and gives equal opportunity for the candidates to respond.

Stanly Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor

Curtis Furr*
Rebecca Gibson**
Billy Franklin Lee*

* did not provide answers
** Q2 was edited due to length of answer.

1. Tell me about your background.

Gibson: I am a wife, a mother, a business owner and a farmer in Stanly County. My family has called Stanly County home for seven and a half years now.

Rebecca Gibson

We love Stanly County and have enjoyed raising our family here. I look forward to serving the people of this community.

My husband Josh and I have four beautiful daughters: Lydia Ryan (26), Danielle Ryan (22), Chloe Gibson (19), Mallory Gibson (14). Our family are Pirates at heart, with two ECU graduates (Lydia and Danielle) and one ECU freshman (Chloe). I went to UNC Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree.

My husband and I operate a farm with sheep, cows, ducks and more along the Rocky River in Stanfield.

We provide working border collies for wildlife management for military bases, airports and other public places where wildlife causes safety or water quality issues.

2. Why are you running for this position?

Gibson: Water is a limited resource impacting economic development and food security.

Soil conservation is the most important way we can have the land we need to survive. Soil erosion has a major impact, especially along waterways.

Farmers are our most important resource when it comes to conservation. I bring knowledge of the agriculture industry that is important when working with farmers to improve water and soil conservation.

With 20-plus years of experience dealing with erosion and water quality management I bring a unique skill set.

I would bring education to the farmers about the benefits of partnering with the county in the Volunteer Agriculture Districting Program.

I think going into the community and bringing this program to the farmer is the best way to grow this program.

Tree planting programs through the schools is another program the county should start to promote soil and water conservation.

Trees are our best weapon against soil erosion. Putting together a program in schools that teaches students to grow and plant trees and be stewards of the environment would benefit future generations.
Protecting farmers and our land is a major part in soil and water conservation and I vow to make it my priority.

3. What is the purpose and responsibilities of the Stanly Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor?

Gibson: The purpose of the Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor is to manage the work of conservationists and the county Soil and Water Conservation office.

They also should work closely with the USDA, conservationist, the District Board, partner agriculture agencies, local educators, land owners and land users to promote different programs and services offered by the department and to provide technical, educational and informational services in order to maintain, protect, preserve and enhance natural resources on private and public lands in Stanly County.