The Ralls County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors election will be held in March 21. Polling hours will be noon to 6 p.m. at the Ralls County district office in New London.

The Ralls County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors election will be held in March 21. Polling hours will be noon to 6 p.m. at the Ralls County district office in New London.

Anyone owning land in Ralls County, with a Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Number or who is assessed as agricultural, is eligible to vote. Each landowner gets one vote and corporations get one vote in each area. The supervisors from areas I and III are up for election. Area I includes Saline and Clay Townships. Area III includes the Center Township and the east half of Jasper Township.

These candidates’ names were submitted by the nominating committees:

Jerry Allen, Clay Township, is running for the Area I Supervisor position. Jerry and his wife, Meri, have lived on the farm south of Hannibal since 1983. Jerry is retired from Hannibal- LaGrange University where he taught Business and is presently employed as an Adjunct Instructor in addition to farming. Meri retired from Palmyra Middle School in 2003. In 2017, Meri retired from Hannibal-LaGrange University where she worked as a secretary.

The Allens have a commercial cow-calf operation raising Angus/Shorthorn crossbred cattle. They have partnered with Ralls County SWCD to install conservation practices on their farm. They utilize an intensive grazing system to maximize capacity and better manage their pastureland. Water systems have been installed piping pond water to tanks spread across the farm and other structures have been done to utilize their pastureland better.

Allen is a member of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and the Ralls County Cattlemen’s Association. In the past, Jerry served several terms on the University of Missouri Extension Board for Ralls County. Allen is previously served on the Board of Trustees at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Allen stated that he is interested in using and promoting conservation practices. He thinks the SWCD has a lot to offer Ralls County farmers by way of information, programs, access to University of Missouri farm research. Allen says he would enjoy being on the SWCD Board of supervisors and serving the farmers of Ralls County.

Leota Shoemyer, Saline Township, is running for the Area I supervisor position. Shoemaker was raised on a farm south of Perry and now resides on a farm with her husband, Howard, in the Monroe City area.

She raises cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, chickens, and also raises corn, soybeans, wheat, and milo, alfalfa, and grass hay.

Schoemaker has used the SWCD State Cost Share for conservation practices on their farm.

She has been a member of the Hutchinson Homemakers Club since 1992 and has served on the University of Missouri Extension Council- Ralls County.

The Shoemakers have two children: Ellie Lee Lugena, 29, and William Joseph Shoemyer, 43.

She would like to become a supervisor to see just how the county and state operate and see what all they have to offer to the landowners in the county.

Adam Gatson, Jasper Township, is running for Area III Supervisor position. Adam and his wife, Julie, live in the rural Vandalia area on his family farm operation and has farmed all of his life. He raises row crops, hay, Gelbvieh cattle and purebred sheep. Gatson started no-tilling in the mid 1990s, then added cover crops in the last five years using some for livestock grazing.

He is a deacon of the First Baptist Church in Vandalia, Ralls County Farm Bureau board of directors, Midwest Stud Ram Sale Committee, Missouri Sheep Producers, Seedstock Plus and a member of the Mark Twain Young Farmers.

Gatson and his wife, Julie, have three grown daughters: Cheyenne Roberts, and her husband, Brendan, live in Lenexa Kan.; Kasey Gatson is a graduate assistant women’s basketball coach at William Wood University; and Abilene is a senior majoring in animal science at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Gatson said he would like to see rotational grazing and no-tilling with cover crops increase in Ralls County.

David Gibson, Jasper Township, is running for the Area III Supervisor position. Gibson has served on the board of supervisors since 2010. Gibson is a row crop grain farmer. He and one of three sons raise corn, soybeans, and wheat using minimum tillage. When discussing his role as a SWCD Supervisor, Gibson said, “Since using terraces and waterways, I can see the benefits of these practices on my farm and would like to encourage other landowners to use these practices”.

Board of Supervisor duties are to oversee cost share funds spent on conservation practices in areas of soil control and water quality, ensure that the public is informed about those practices through education and news releases. Supervisors administer district policies, programs, personnel, and funds. The district is supported by the one-tenth of 1 percent parks, soils and water sales taxes and other sources. For additional information on the election, contact Ralls SWCD office at (573) 985-8611, Ext. 3; or visit the office at 17623 Hwy 19, Suite 3, New London..