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2017-12-07

Straight from the horse's mouth

Public Service

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture
candidate Kim Olson to speak, Dec. 8

Olson is a farmer and champion of education. She was part of the first generation of female military pilots, served in the Pentagon and deployed to several combat zones, including Iraq.
Kim Olson, retired Air Force colonel and candidate for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, will be the guest speaker at an upcoming meet and greet event hosted by the Kerr County Democratic Party. The meet and greet event will be at 5:30 p.m. at Riverside Nature Center, 150 Francisco Lemos St., in Kerrville. The public is invited.
Olson has a ranch near Mineral Wells, Texas, where she is influencing the future of sustainable food production through her community supported agriculture program.
In working with veterans, Olson saw that 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.
Olson also understands the importance of traditional agriculture - sheep and cattle, cotton, hunting, corn and rice, among many other commodities -- to the Texas economy and especially rural communities. She is committed to ensuring that the Texas Department of Agriculture helps producers to have the land, financing and markets to be successful.
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. She served in the Pentagon on the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Air Staff, and she 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 school district in Texas, responsible for 22,000 employees and a billion-dollar budget. 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.”
By 2010, Olson was back in military service, this time serving the Texas State Guard for three years as director of IT and personnel systems at their Austin headquarters. Her expertise prepared and trained the 2,300 volunteer military forces who augment state and local authorities during natural and manmade disasters.
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 women veterans, helping more than 6,000 veteran families.
Olson was inducted into “Texas Women’s Hall of Fame” in 2014.
Olson’s website is https://votekimolson.com/ and her Facebook page is @KimOlson4TexasAg.