Redfeather-Benally replaces Dineh Benally on farm board
In a landslide, Beatrice Redfeather-Benally has won her bid for San Juan River Farm Board with 1,252 votes, beating current San Juan River Farm Board President Dineh Benally who garnered 259 votes and Joe Stephen Ben with 797.
Redfeather-Benally has spent the past few months protesting and becoming an outspoken voice against Shiprock’s hemp farms, especially since there was a hemp farm placed in front of her home at the beginning of the summer.
Before this issue sprang up, she had never considered running for any elected position.
“Never did I think I would be in politics,” said Redfeather-Benally in a previous interview. “I made that decision on the last day to turn in your application.”
She said the disharmony stemming from the hemp farms was a deciding factor for her to run against Benally.
She said the hemp farming operations continue at the farm across from her home, and she said as a farm board member she will work to have the permits revoked from those who continue to farm hemp.
“Should I win as farm board official I will guarantee to push for those permits to be pulled from those permit holders that allow for this illegal cannabis to be farmed on their farm plots,” said Redfeather-Benally.
Dineh Benally’s father, Donald Benally, also came up short in his attempt to hold onto the office of Shiprock grazing committee member. He lost to Sarah Denetclaw-Begay.
Shiprock has elected all female chapter officials. The new chapter president is Nevina Kinlahcheeny, replacing long-time chapter president Chili Yazzie (who didn’t seek re-election); vice president Debra Yazzie; and chapter secretary is J. “Kaibah” Begay.