Lambert retires from Farm Service Agency
Randy Lambert has retired from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) after 40 years of service.
Lambert had been the county executive director for the Barnwell County FSA office since August 1980 after previously working a few years in the Marion and Florence offices. He later took over for the Allendale County office, too, before the two offices merged a few years ago after the closure of the Allendale office.
“It’s been a pleasure serving the farmers of Barnwell/Allendale and the surrounding area. It’s also been a pleasure working with my wonderful staff and county committee,” said Lambert, who retired on Sept. 29. “As I leave this position, I wish only the best for my farmers and their future endeavors.”
Throughout his 37-year career in Barnwell and Allendale counties, he said he’s tried to serve the farmers to the best of his ability.
“They are the backbone of our country. If we don’t eat, we don’t live. They give us food and fiber,” he said of farmers who make up about 1 percent of the population.
Lambert said he always reminded his employees to put the farmers first because they are why they have jobs. Lambert said he always wanted farmers to feel at home at the FSA office and leave with a smile, especially on days when they had bad days due to various issues, such as equipment problems.
“It always felt like a family,” said Lambert, who enjoyed going to farms to visit with farmers and see how his office could help them.
Lambert, who was 26 years old when he moved to Barnwell in 1980, has seen many technological changes during his career. This includes how farm equipment has become more automated with GPS and other technology.
Also, he said there were no computers when he started. “It was all manual,” he said of using pencils, erasers, paper and calculators. Although he loves math, he acknowledges that computers and other advancements have made the work of the FSA much more efficient, including calculating loan rates.
Lambert has worked with generations of farmers from the same families over the years. In recent years, he said he’s worked with the children of farmers he worked with during his early years.
“It’s good to see that farming has filtered down to generations,” he said.
That is also true in his own family as Randy Lambert isn’t the first person in his family to work for the FSA. His mother Martha worked for the office in Marion.
He also won’t be the last because his son Brandon is now the third generation. He is the director over the Kershaw/Lancaster and Chester/Fairfield offices.
“The tradition carries on,” said Cindy Lambert, Randy’s wife.
Brandon and Randy Lambert have helped each other over the years. Randy has provided guidance and valuable advice to his son, including letting Brandon shadow him while he was in college. However, Brandon has also helped his father, particularly with technology questions.
Randy and Cindy Lambert also have two daughters – Keri McGrath, who teaches in Greenville, and Renee Lambert, who works for an organization that helps HIV/AIDS patients. Randy Lambert said it’s “very rewarding” to see his children doing well.
After 40 years of service, Lambert said he’s looking forward to more family time, traveling and spending time outside hunting and fishing. His wife retired earlier this year after teaching kindergarten for 36 years at Barnwell Primary School.