Mary Rickert, Award-Winning Rancher, District 3 Supervisor Candidate: “I Care”

 Mary, welcome to A News Cafe.com, and thank you for talking with me about your plan to campaign for a seat on the Shasta County Board of Supervisor’s District 3. Before we discuss your candidacy, let me congratulate you and your husband for being recipients of California’s highest environmental honor, as well as being recognized as the California Agriculturalist of the Year by the California Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
Thank you for your kind words. This really is about Prather Ranch and the great people that work with us.

Q: Can you please tell us a bit about your work, and why you were selected?

Jim and I have always loved agriculture and were blessed to be able to work with the Prather Ranch since 1979. We have always tried to work with nature and be creative and resourceful in making improvements to the ranch. We developed a branded beef product that our customers enjoy, in addition to using other parts of the animal to supply raw materials for the bio medical industry. These devices often improve the quality of life of patients.

Mary Rickert, with some of her cows behind her.

Mary Rickert, with some of her cows behind her.

Q: This isn’t the first time your business has been recognized, has it?

We have been fortunate to be recognized by the Beef Improvement Federation as the National Commercial Producer of the Year, the National Cattlemens’ Association Environmental Stewardship Award for the western US and the Aldo Leopold Award. We also did receive the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership (GEELA) award once before in 2004. We hope we can inspire other ranching operations to adopt similar practices.

Q: Can you tell us about you and your family?

I moved to Shasta County 42 years ago. I’m a 5th generation Californian. Jim and I will be celebrating our 43rd wedding anniversary in March and we have three grown children.

I was blessed to have a wonderful family that always encouraged us to work hard and make the world a better place. I have served on many community, county and state boards as I believe we all have a responsibility to build healthier communities. Jim and I have five grandchildren. They are an important part of my inspiration to make Shasta County a better place for their future.

Q: Speaking of which, you’re running for a seat on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors. When did you first consider a campaign, and what caused you to make this decision?

I have been encouraged by several friends and colleagues to consider running for District 3 Supervisor for many years. With my diverse background, I felt now was a critical time in Shasta County’s history to offer my experience to help navigate the county through some very difficult times.

Q: What is it about you that you believe would make you a good supervisor?

Helping people, listening, and bringing organizations and people together to solve problems is what drives me to roll up my sleeves and get involved in the community. I often joke that I don’t play golf, go fishing, or take many vacations because my hobby truly is volunteering to help others. And to put it simply – I care. I care about my grandchildren and their generation, those diagnosed with mental illness, the environment, our safety and ability to live in safe communities, and I love being an advocate for those who are unable or unwilling to advocate for themselves.

Q: How would you describe District 3, its people and its special needs?

District 3 covers quite a large area that spans from McArthur, where I live, to the Enterprise area in the city of Redding. When I embarked on my campaign I started with a phone survey to truly understand the issues facing all residents, not just those in the rural regions. I was surprised to learn that after contacting over a thousand homes in the area, that the top three issues are the same no matter where you are. These are: public safety services need to be improved; homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness need to be adequately addressed; and we need to streamline and support county planning processes to helps business owners create jobs. Another interesting topic that was mentioned several times in the survey is that the county and the cities need to do a better job of working together on issues. I believe I have started to see the cities and county collaborate more and more recently with the implementation of the Blueprint for Public Safety. It is really an exciting time for our county.

Q: Are there any skills you’ve acquired as a rancher and business-owner that will be transferable to working as a supervisor?

Jim and I have operated a successful farm and ranch management, appraisal and real estate brokerage firm since 1981. I have extensive knowledge of making payrolls and running a business by making prudent business decisions. We have managed many properties for absentee owners and have been responsible for their finances. I know how important it is to be responsive and accountable to others. As I have gone through the permit process for various projects I have interfaced with county officials and will be able to assist other business owners navigate the planning department.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Truth be known, I love to work outdoors, whether chopping thistles or picking up garbage along the roads. Give me my shovel, a couple of grandchildren and let’s go get something done!

Q: If you were elected, what would your priorities be?

There are many issues that need our attention. My highest priorities would be to improve public safety services, address substance abuse and mental illness, and to strengthen our economy by helping to create a business-friendly environment.

Q: What’s your slogan?

Since I love the outdoors and because I have a lot of energy, I thought the image of a sun would work well in our logo. My husband jokes that our signs remind him of the Jimmy Dean sausage commercials. After we designed our signs, the campaign team came up with the slogan “A New Horizon for Shasta County.” It sticks well with me and so far I’ve received great feedback on the signs. Thanks to Tony Camarota of Sugar Pine Media for such a beautiful design!

Q: Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

I am committed to be proactive and not reactive. I also believe the residents of District 3 deserve effective representation and I plan to be engaged and accessible. I have the energy and will to help guide our communities to a healthier, more prosperous future.

Thank you, Mary, for taking the time to let us get to know you a bit better.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Monica Baxter says:

    I  served on the Shasta County Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Board and know that Mary is tirelessly dedicated to improving services for those in need. Mary will bring great energy and experience to the position of supervisor.

  2. Avatar REMOTE SHASTA COUNTY. says:

    I voted for Pam.  A  much better choice in my opinion.  She has done a good job.

  3. Avatar Dick says:

    I’ll be voting for Mary. We need some fresh energy on the board of supervisors. In my opinion the incumbents have done very little for us.