Under the leadership of Dr. James E. (Jim) Horne, President and CEO, the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture has worked for over twenty years to develop sustainable food and farming systems in Oklahoma, the region, and the nation.
While growing up on a farm in southwestern Oklahoma, Jim Horne
experienced the satisfaction of helping with many successful harvests,
and the devastation of knowing some were lost to hailstorms and
droughts. Influenced by a close-knit community of farmers, FFA experiences,
and a Vo-Ag instructor who was both teacher and mentor, he knew
his life work would be in agriculture.
After completing high school at Roosevelt, Oklahoma in 1965, his
continued studies took him to Cameron State Agricultural College,
where he graduated in 1967. While at Cameron he received awards
including " Most Outstanding Freshman" and "Outstanding
Graduating Agriculture Student." He was also president of the
student body and served on the livestock judging team. He then entered
Oklahoma State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science
degree in Agricultural Education in 1969. Two years later, he obtained
a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. He also received
a commission in the Army and obtained the rank of captain. In 1972,
Horne began his career with the Kerr Foundation as a consulting
agricultural economist.. Ten years later he was named Vice-President
for Agriculture. During this time, he authored numerous publications
designed both for scientific and farmer audiences.
Today, Horne serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of
the Kerr Center. He has guided the organization in developing a
program of sustainable agriculture research and demonstrations.
This program is based on concepts that ensure a viable agriculture
without degradation of natural resources. These concepts, demonstrations,
and applied research are in use at the Kerr Center's 4,000 acre
stewardship ranch near Poteau, Oklahoma.
In addition to his responsibilities at the Kerr Center, Horne has
served as chairman of the Southern Region Council for the U. S.
Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and
Education (SARE) Program; as a member of the Scoping Task Force
on Sustainable Agriculture for the President's Council on Sustainable
Development; and as chairman of the U.S.D.A.'s National Sustainable
Agriculture Advisory Council. Also, he gave initial testimony regarding
the establishment of the now SARE program to congressional sub-committees.
He is active in many local, state, national, and international agricultural
A book written by Horne, and co-authored by Maura McDermott, was released by Haworth Press, Inc., in 2001. The Next Green Revolution:
Essential Steps to a Healthy, Sustainable Agriculture describes
Horne's experiences while growing up in a sharecropper family in
Oklahoma, running his own ranch, and consulting with farmers as
an agricultural economist. He shares what he learned as the Kerr
Center experimented with new "sustainable" approaches
to old problems on the Center's ranch/farm, and his experiences
working with the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
Program. It gives practical suggestions for increasing profits and
reducing risks while regenerating the soil, protecting the environment,
and being a good neighbor.
Horne is often requested for keynote talks to various organizations
worldwide. He is a frequent speaker to farm groups and conferences
dealing with the interface of a profitable agriculture, ecology,
and social issues in agricultural communities. He serves on a number
of boards for various organizations and has worked extensively on
several task forces and committees.