Jim Horne, Special Projects Director at the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, retired Dec. 31 after a forty-five year career with the organization. He was honored with a plaque at the trustees’ meeting in early December.
Horne first joined the Kerr Center, then known as the Agricultural Division of the Kerr Foundation, in 1972. As a consulting agricultural economist, he worked as part of a team that helped eastern Oklahoma farmers and ranchers to improve their operations.
Within a decade, Horne had worked his way up to Vice President for Agriculture. He led the Agricultural Division’s transformation into the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture in 1985.
In 1985, Horne also became President and CEO of the newly founded Kerr Center, a position which he held through 2015. After stepping down as President, Horne continued on as Special Projects Director at the Kerr Center, focusing on documenting and preserving the organization’s history.
“I first met Jim when I interviewed for a job at the Kerr Center in 1993,” says Kerr Center President David Redhage. “Over the years I saw how Jim promoted and worked to advance sustainable agriculture in Oklahoma and the rest of the country.”
“I will miss the opportunity to visit with him about new issues and challenges in agriculture. Those conversations have proven very insightful and helpful over the years. His decades of experience give him a unique perspective on the direction sustainable agriculture is going. While he has retired, I do expect him to drop by the office occasionally.”
The plaque presented to Horne by the Kerr Center Board of Trustees read, “To Dr. James E. Horne on the occasion of your retirement, the Board of Trustees of the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture wish to express their sincere thanks and gratitude for 45 years of dedicated service. As founding president of the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, your wisdom and commitment to sustainable agriculture has been an inspiration to many people. It will be long remembered. Wishing you good health and happiness in your retirement.”
Following his retirement, Horne will remain involved with the Kerr Center as Chair of the Board of Trustees.