Earl Family PhotoI am a life-long resident of northern Orange County and was raised on the family farm.  I am the oldest of three children born to Geraldine McKee and the late Sam McKee.  I have one brother, David McKee, and a sister, Gail McKee Hughes.  Growing up on the family farm, I quickly learned the importance of responsibility.  Performing daily chores while maintaining the level of school work that my mother expected, taught me to be focused and determined.  These experiences helped me understand that you cannot spend money that you do not have.

After graduating from Orange High School, I continued my studies at NCSU where I received my Associate’s Degree in Agriculture.  I returned to the family farm in the mid 70’s to pursue a career in agriculture while striving to be a good steward of the land and have operated a successful agricultural business for 41 years.  Farming is a challenging profession requiring the ability to not only see changes that may be coming but to react to those changes in a calm and rational manner.  I have been able to adapt to the many changes that have occurred in agriculture and succeed in my chosen profession.  This life experience has given me the ability to serve the residents of Orange County as your Commissioner.

I am married to the former Sandra Lloyd of the Orange Grove community.  She is a retired teacher of the Orange County School system with 32 years of service.  My son and stepchildren are graduates of Orange County Schools.

Active involvement is critical to being able to understand the needs of the people living in any community.  As a lifelong member of Little River Presbyterian Church, I have served several terms as an Elder, as well as having served as Treasurer of the Building Fund and Chairperson of the Cemetery Committee.  I am a charter member of the Caldwell Fire Department, founded in 1977, and served on the original Board as Treasurer.  Throughout the ensuing years I have held various offices on the board including past President and served as a volunteer firefighter.  Being an active member and officer of organizations such as the Farm Bureau and Hillsborough Jaycees, as well as being elected as a USDA Community representative, has helped me understand what makes Orange County special.

Since joining the County Board I have been the liaison to the Orange County Fire Chiefs Council and in 2012 co-chaired the Emergency Services Workgroup.  I have served on the ABC Board for the past three years and served as a member of the Communities in Schools and Healthy Carolinian Boards.  I represented Orange County on the Triangle Area Rural Planning Board and am currently the alternate member of the Burlington-Graham Metropolitan Planning Board.

I am currently starting my second year as vice-chair of the Board of Commissioners and as such sit on the Schools Collaboration Committee.  In 2013 I was appointed to the Board of the Orange County Small Business Loan Program which has provided start-up monies to several small businesses in Orange County.

As Commissioner, I have attended many forums and functions so that I could hear from the citizens about issues that concerned them.  Being visible throughout the county is important because it gives feedback needed to represent my district effectively.