Longtime Oregon Farm Bureau board member, Lyndon Kerns, member of the Klamath-Lake County Farm Bureau, was honored with the 2019 Distinguished Service Award on Dec. 12, during the 87th OFB convention in Gleneden Beach.
The award recognizes outstanding effort, dedication, and leadership over the course of multiple years.
“For over 33 years as an active Farm Bureau member, Lyndon has served our grassroots organization and Oregon agriculture in countless ways. We are proud to recognize Lyndon with the OFB Distinguished Service Award for his decades of hard work, dedication, selflessness, and effectiveness,” said outgoing OFB President Sharon Waterman.
“Farm Bureau is like one big family working together for something positive for Oregon agriculture,” Kerns said. “When the voices of farmers and ranchers are united, it makes all of us stronger.
“To me, this award demonstrates that the efforts of Farm Bureau’s grassroots members are appreciated. When lawmakers hear from actual farmers and ranchers about how a bill or a regulation or a court decision will impact them in real life, it makes a big impact. Farm Bureau gives us a way to share agriculture’s perspective very effectively.”
“Lyndon has made many trips from Klamath Falls to Salem over the years to advocate for agriculture at the state capitol. With so much of public policy directly affecting farm and ranch families, this sort of political engagement is essential for agriculture to survive,” said Waterman.
Through Farm Bureau, Kerns has worked on, and testified before legislative committees on, many critical bills, ranging from taxes, cap-and-trade, and farm use assessment, to elk damage to crops, wolves’ impact on livestock, and the tools farmers use to grow food and other agricultural products.
He has lent his time and expertise on many OFB committees, including livestock, national and environmental resources, government and national affairs.
Kerns has also spent countless hours working on local grazing issues and on inheritance tax laws for both Oregon and California.
Like many members, Kerns’s trajectory of Farm Bureau leadership began through the Young Farmers & Ranchers program. In 1996, he joined the state YF&R committee, where he served for two years before stepping up to the position of vice chair in 1998. At the same time, Kerns became instrumental at the county level. In 1996, he joined the Klamath-Lake County Farm Bureau board of directors — and four years later, became county vice president. In 2004, Kerns was elected to represent Klamath and Lake counties on the OFB board, a position that he still holds today.
At the national level, Kerns was appointed to the American Farm Bureau’s National Water Issues Committee, where he served for multiple years.
Besides Farm Bureau, Kerns has served on the local Republican Central Committee, the Soil and Water Conservation District, and numerous groups focusing on water issues in the Klamath Basin.
Members of Klamath-Lake County Farm Bureau had glowing things to say about Kerns.
“Lyndon is so dedicated to agriculture and to Farm Bureau. I’m not sure how he finds the time to do it all. It’s very impressive,” said Klamath-Lake County Farm Bureau President John Moxley.
“We’ve always been impressed with how Lyndon represents Farm Bureau and all of Oregon agriculture, not just his own interests,” said Klamath-Lake County Farm Bureau leaders Jason and Victoria Flowers. “He is always willing to lend a helping hand. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better guy to have on your side.”
“On the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, Lyndon always served with honor and integrity. He is quiet but he always gets things done,” said Klamath-Lake County Farm Bureau member Rod Kucera.
With the love and support of his wife Jenny, Kerns does all this while raising hay, grain, and cattle on a Century Farm in Klamath County.