Friends of the Kerr Center
How it Works
All contributions are tax deductible. We have designated levels of support—
Harvester ($200-$999) and Steward ($1000 or more)
You can also make a donation in memory of a loved one.
Join Us in Building a Sustainable World: Vision 2035
The next 25 years promise to be among the most challenging time periods in the history of our nation, indeed the world.
The key to meeting these challenges is education.
Building upon its 25 years of experience, the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture is establishing an educational center at its headquarters on the historic Kerr Ranch near Poteau in southeastern Oklahoma.
Over the next 25 years the Kerr Center will become the “destination for education” about sustainable food and agriculture in the region. The center will give rural residents the tools they need to meet the economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century.
A sustainable agriculture is an essential piece of a sustainable world. At the Kerr Center, producers from family farms across Oklahoma and the South will learn to raise animals and crops using the most up-to-date, innovative, sustainable practices.
1985-2010: The First 25 Years
Since 1985, the Kerr Center has been looking to the future-- dedicating its own endowment, and staking its reputation, on a vision of healthy, sustainable farms and ranches. In its early years, the center did groundbreaking work in formulating the basic concepts of sustainable agriculture and applying them to operations on the home ranch.
From 1998-2008 the center expanded its educational program statewide. Field days, conferences, and workshops were held in locations across the state of Oklahoma, reaching many thousands. These events, along with educational publications and a comprehensive website, spurred a groundswell of support in the state for family farmers, sustainable and organic agriculture, sustainable livestock production, farmers’ markets, farm-to-school programs, and eating healthy, locally grown food.
These efforts succeeded beyond our wildest dreams, and we are proud of the “seeds of change” we have planted. But the effort has been costly. In addition, the Great Recession has cut deeply into the center’s endowment. Over the last couple of years, in response to these fiscal constraints, the center has had to cut staff and services to the bone, and stay closer to home.
While painful, the changes allowed us time to assess our strengths and weaknesses. And just as the darkest hour is just before the dawn, this period of austerity and taking stock has given rise to a bright vision for the next 25 years.
We call it Vision 2035.
2011-2035: The Next 25 Years
It can be difficult to envision a future very different from the present. But a vision is imperative for progress.
The Kerr Center will mark its 50th anniversary in 2035. By the time that landmark date rolls around, we envision the center as a first-rate, state-of the-art educational center open to all. Over the next twenty-five years, the center wants agriculturists from around the region to make the Kerr Farm and Ranch near Poteau, Oklahoma, their “destination for education.”
What will be uniquely valuable about the Kerr Educational Center will be the hands-on training in sustainable production that it will offer farmers and ranchers, in the field and in the pasture, under real-world conditions.
Vision 2035 has already been set in motion. Workshops on grazing, farm pond management and hoop house construction took place in spring 2011. In late summer and fall 2011, field days and workshops on horticulture crops, organic production, and meat goat production are planned.
Nowhere else in the region is this kind of experience available, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The spring events filled our small meeting room to capacity, and we have had to limit attendance. We hope to expand our facilities in future years so that more people will be able to participate.
We also want to continue to make the center's website, www.kerrcenter.com, a "virtual destination" for education. Our reports and our newsletter also offer valuable information to anyone who wants it.
To realize this vision of being a destination for education, the center needs your support. Donations, large and small, may be used to:
- Provide internships to college students
- Provide scholarships for producers to attend educational events
- Develop online educational resources, accessible to those of all income levels
- Create curriculum for beginning farmer and rancher courses
- Enhance ranch infrastructure to be used for educational demonstrations
- Bring top-notch instructors to our educational events
- Expand educational facilities
If you have benefitted from a Kerr Center event, publication, or webpage, please consider donating and becoming a Friend of the Kerr Center. It’s easy to get involved and show your support. All donations are tax-deductible.
With your support, we will succeed in making Vision 2035 a reality. Please join us in building a sustainable world for our children and grandchildren!
All donations, no matter what the level, will be gratefully accepted.
Please visit our website or call the center for more information. You may donate online or mail donations to the center at P.O. Box 588, Poteau, OK 74953.
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