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2009 - Lifetime Achievement - Dr. James E. Horne - Poteau

Raised on a family farm near Roosevelt in southwestern Oklahoma, Jim Horne has spent his lifetime in agriculture as a rancher and as an advisor to other farmers around the nation.  Today he serves as CEO and president of the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, a non-profit educational foundation near Poteau.  But there’s much more to his story ….

Under Dr. Horne’s leadership since 1985, the Kerr Center has become a national leader in finding creative solutions to agricultural, environmental and social challenges.  He has become known for championing the ordinary, hard-working farmer, who is too often forgotten.

He also has developed an impressive international reputation for the keen insights which form the core of his 2001 book, “The Next Generation – Essential Steps to a Healthy Sustainable Agriculture.”  The book is used in sustainable ag education around the world and tops New Farm magazine’s list of important books about the subject.  One reviewer said his book should be on the reading list of every County Extension Agent and Farm Advisor in the country.

A graduate of OSU in agriculture education and economics, Horne completed his PhD in biology in Russia.  His entire professional career has been spent with the Kerr Foundation.  In the mid-80s, a time when many had never even heard the word “sustainable,” he refocused the foundation’s work to an emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

What James Horne has never forgotten was the perseverance and hard work it took to succeed in farming in southwestern Oklahoma.  He still brings those qualities to his extraordinary passion in transforming conventional agriculture with daring innovation, creativity and rock-solid research.  He does this as a distinguished author, a member of several national agricultural committees, and as an often-requested keynote speaker for worldwide organizations.

"The first farmer was the first man. All historic nobility rests on the possession and use of land." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson would have recognized nobility in the commitment, courage and conviction our honoree has shown in moving nations of farmers to sustainable agriculture.  We are so proud he is one of us, an Oklahoman, who teaches the world how to tend to its lands.

Ladies and gentlemen, our 2009 recipient of the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. James E. Horne!