Bill Farmer, Jr. is possibly known best for his presence, not only in Council Chambers, but at the iconic Farmer’s Jewelry in Chevy Chase, founded by his father on Euclid Avenue in 1950. He has been in partnership with his mother, Mrs. Jean H. Farmer and his sister, Kristi Farmer Lykins, since 1989. Bill is a graduate of Henry Clay High School and the University of Kentucky. He also holds a Graduate Gemologist Degree from the Gemological Institute of America.
Bill served two terms as President of the Kentucky Jewelers Association and was Board Chair of the American Gem Society from 2002 through 2004. He was inducted into the National Jeweler’s Retailer Hall of Fame in 1993. He also served as Chair of the Jewelers of America Board, the industry’s largest entity, from 2013 until 2015. In 2016, Bill was awarded the prestigious Robert M. Shipley Award, given for outstanding service to the jewelry industry, significant contribution the science of gemology and for exemplifying the high ideals of the American Gem Society in his own community.
Bill served on the Urban County Council from 1997 until 2006, and again from 2010 until present. During his years on the Council, he has served as Chair of the Planning Committee, guiding the approval of two complete updates of the Comprehensive Plan; as Chair of the Services Committee, which enacted Lexington’s Smoking Ban Ordinance; and as Chair of the Fire and EMS Task Force.
He is currently Chair of the Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee and of the Budget Link for the same department, serving in both capacities since 2010. Bill also is Chair of the Corridors Commission and the Lexington Sister Cities Commission. He is a member of the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee and the Planning and Public Safety Committee.
He is a Vice-president of the Kentucky Civil War Roundtable, serves as a board member of the Pyramid Club and the Kentucky Mansion Preservation Foundation. He is married to Kimberly Edmundson Farmer with whom he has a son, Will and a daughter Amanda. Collectively they enjoy three grandsons, Derek, Jackson and Rhett.