Kim Olson, Col., United States Air Force (Ret.), will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming meeting of the Erath County Democratic Party on June 30.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 30, at the ranch of Don and Charlene Illingworth, 651 County Road 360 in Dublin.

The meeting is open to the public.

Olson is a candidate for Texas commissioner of agriculture. The primary will be held in March of 2018 and the general election in November of 2018.

Olson, a farmer, veteran, pilot and champion of education, is influencing the future of sustainable food production through her Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) at the 4K River Ranch in Mineral Wells.

In working with veterans, nutritious food became the great healer for those struggling with the human heartbreak that is war.  Olson has a Natural-Organic Certification from the Texas Organic Research Center and is a Texas Master Gardener, provides naturally grown food, raises bees, and is committed to sustainable Eco-Agriculture.  She grows produce for Texas families, provides training on growing healthy food, and lectures on small scale farming.

Her 25 years in uniform encompassed a time of great change.  She was part of the first generation of female military pilots, eventually accumulating nearly 4,000 hours of flying time.  As one of the first women to command an operational flying squadron, Olson rose to the rank of Colonel, served in the Pentagon on the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Air Staff and deployed to several combat zones, including Iraq. 

After her military retirement in 2005, she entered the field of public education. 

By 2007 she was the Director of Human Resources for Dallas Independent School District, the second largest in Texas. In that same year, she was elected to the Weatherford Independent School District Board of Trustees, and in 2009 the district was recognized as the “Texas Outstanding Board of the Year.” 

As the retired CEO/President of Grace After Fire, a Texas-based nonprofit dedicated to helping women veterans help themselves, she reshaped how care was delivered to thousands of women veterans. 

Olson exemplifies those military veterans who continue to serve their communities and their nation and in 2014 was inducted into “Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.” 

Olson’s website is https://www.kimolson4txag.com/ and her Facebook page is “Kim Olson for Agriculture Commissioner.”

Directions to the ranch from Stephenville: Go out the Lingleville Highway. Turn right on County Road 360, exactly 17 miles from the Stephenville Ranger College location. You will be turning onto a dirt road. The entrance to their home is exactly ¼ mile on the left. It is gated with their name on the gate. Come to the back of the home for the gathering.

For more information call 254-658-2309 or 214-938-1002.