Meet your Sheriff
William Okla Farmer, Jr. was born in 1947. The youngest of four children to Oak and Ruby Farmer, “Bill” as he is commonly referred to by friends and associates, is a life-long resident of Sumter County.
After graduating from South Sumter High School in 1965, he successfully completed fingerprint identification training with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and worked in the crime scene investigations unit of the Duval County Sheriff’s Office. In 1966, Sheriff Farmer enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the 3rd Army Infantry, and attained the rank of E-5 before being discharged in 1968. He continued to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1972.
After returning home from the U.S. Army, Sheriff Farmer began his more than forty years of service to the citizens of Sumter County, becoming a Deputy Sheriff in 1971. Since 1971, Sheriff Farmer’s career has spanned more than four decades with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, and in 1996, was elected Sheriff. Since taking office in January 1997, Sheriff Farmer has led one of the most proactive and progressive law enforcement agencies in the Central Florida region, and has since been re-elected to the office of Sheriff in 2000, 2004 and 2008. In the elections of 2004 and 2008, Sheriff Farmer ran unopposed; a first for a sitting Sumter County Sheriff.
Sheriff Farmer is as much a family man as he is lawman. Sheriff Farmer is married to the former Linda Louise Jay, and together, they have celebrated more than 37 years of marriage. Mrs. Farmer is a retired teacher, having retired from Sumter District Schools after more than 37 years of service. The Farmers have three children: Billy, a Southeast Regional Manager for an agricultural firm; Stephen, a Lieutenant with the Florida Wildlife Commission; and Kristen, who serves with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington D.C.