John S. Keller Honored as the
by C. R. Mote
1999 Distinguished Alumnus
John S. Keller has been selected as the 1999 Distinguished
Alumnus of The University of Tennessee Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Department. The award was presented at the Department's annual awards banquet
held on April 20,
1999 in Hollingsworth Auditorium on the Agriculture Campus in Knoxville.
Mr. Keller graduated with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering from The
University of Tennessee in 1963. During the ensuing thirty-six years, he has employed
his engineering training in the management of a successful agricultural production
enterprise. John, along with his wife, Susan, and son, Sam, currently own and operate
Kelmont Farms, Inc. of Maryville, Tennessee. The 800 acres of Kelmont Farms are
used to raise corn, wheat, soybeans, wheat straw, hay, and beef cattle.
In addition to managing his own production enterprise, John provides leadership to
the broader agricultural industry. He serves as either a director or an officer of Blount
County Farm Bureau, Tennessee Farm Bureau Crop Advisory Committee, American
Farm Bureau Soybean Committee, Blount County Livestock Association, Smoky
Mountain Feedercalf Association, Blount Farmers Co-Op, Blount County Agricultural
Extension Committee, Farmers Home Loan Committee, Annexation Coordinating
Committee, Farm Credit Advisory Committee, Tennessee Soybean Association, and the
Soybean Promotion Board.
His dedication to hard work and commitment to service were recognized by his fellow
students during his days as an agricultural engineering student at UT. His peers
elected him to membership in the Morgan Chapter of Alpha Zeta in 1962. John
continues to be a supporter of UT. He is a member of the President's Club and has
served on two review panels for the program of the Knoxville Branch Experiment
Mr. Keller encouraged the students present to do four things upon their graduation.
He advised them to always consider the point of view of the people they serve, to
support the university with their monetary gifts, to seek potential students for the
department, and to acknowledge the support of their families.