Former Santa Rosa County Commissioner Don Salter was selected as the 2022 Friend of Agriculture for Santa Rosa County.
Don Salter is a Santa Rosa County native, born in Jay in 1947. His father was a farmer and grew peanuts for a time before moving to Cantonment. Don Salter has been married to his wife, Kaye, for 52 years. The couple has a son, Donnie. Donnie and his wife, Mandy, have a son Ethan, 9, and a daughter, Evelyn, 6.
Salter has always been a strong leader and supporter of Santa Rosa agriculture and is a true friend to farmers. He was first elected to the county commission office in November 2000 and re-elected in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. He also served as chairman several times during his time in his office.
Several years ago, Salter worked with county staff to create the Rural Protection Plan for the northern part of the county designed to protect the rural character, agricultural viability and natural resources of northern Santa Rosa County.
Over the years, a focus of his service has also been protecting and enhancing regional military installations, especially NAS Whiting Field. He provided the vision and leadership to help purchase several thousand acres of land to prevent development encroachment around local military bases. The NAS Whiting Field encroachment prevention program is considered “The Navy Model.” He served as chairman of the Santa Rosa County and Escambia County Base Realignment and Closure “BRAC” Committee for several years. Fittingly, Don Salter Boulevard now leads to the new Whiting Aviation Park, which adjoins Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton.
Before becoming a commissioner, Salter worked for Gulf Power Company and retired in 2000 after finishing a 32-year career. His last 10 years, he was the Santa Rosa County district manager, and was responsible for all company operations.
Salter also served as a United States Army Paratrooper from 1965-1968. He served his last 15 months in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade as a combat platoon sergeant and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
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