John S. Keller Honored as the
1999 Distinguished Alumnus

by C. R. Mote
John Keller

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 Station.

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.

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Copyright (c) 1999