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Meet Karen (Kate) Harrington Reichert

Kate Reichert's roots run deep in the picturesque rural community of Cokesbury in Northwest Harnett County, where she spent her childhood on her family's tobacco and dairy farm. A proud alumna of Appalachian State University, Kate holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in biology. Her impressive 40-year career in cancer research and science administration, initially at the National Institute of Environment Health Sciences (NIEHS) and later at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reflects her commitment to advancing scientific knowledge.

Professional Achievements

During the first half of her career, Kate managed a cancer research program that evaluated environmental compounds to assess their carcinogenic potential. Her program’s work on four arsenic metabolites was awarded the EPA Bronze Medal at the National Academy of Science in Washington, DC. In the latter half of her career Kate transitioned into an administration/management position at the EPA, where she served as the Director of the Animal Resources and Research Support Program. In this capacity, Kate was responsible for the oversight and operations of a $15M program which included serving as the Project Officer on four program contracts, oversight of a 42,000 sq ft research facility and ensuring the ongoing national accreditation status of the program. Kate retired in 2017 after 40 years of civil service.

A Return to Farming

In 2023, Kate was recognized as Female Agriculturalist of the Year by the Harnett County Agriculture Extension Service.

In 2015, Kate inherited the dairy portion of her family's farm, which had fallen into disrepair. Teaming up with her husband Monty, she embarked on the ambitious task of revitalizing the farm, Hi-Lo Farms, a business established by her father. Together, they cleared land, built a new barn, set up electrical fencing, established pastures and hay fields and built a cattle handling facility. In 2019, they transitioned to full-time farm life, raising registered Black Angus cattle. Kate is the fourth generation to live and farm on this land, fostering a deep connection to her heritage. In 2023, Kate was recognized as Female Agriculturalist of the Year by the Harnett County Agriculture Extension Service.

Community Service

Kate served as a volunteer Family Support Coordinator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Wake County for over 11 years.

She's now taking her commitment to community service to a new level by running for the District 4 seat on the Harnett County Commission.

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