By Michael McGuire
Sun Staff Writer
GILBERTSVILLE – Richard Keene says Japanese farmers don’t have a lot of land, but they have nice cattle.
That means a lot coming from him.
Keene, a life-long Gilbertsville dairy farmer and long-time industry insider, has judged cows and heifers all over the globe in local, state, national and worldwide competitions for the past 50 years.
He’s also devoted his life, in some form or another, to farming and public service.
For his notoriety as a cattle expert, and his dedication to Gilbertsville, recently Keene received the National Dairy Shrine’s “Pioneer” award, one of the dairy industry’s highest honors.
The list of achievements that qualified him for the award is impressive.
The Gilbertsville dairy man and 1957 Cornell University graduate was on the judge’s panel at the first ever World Dairy Expo in 1967, a capacity he’d serve four other times (more than any other person – ever) in the 40 years that followed.
Keene’s also a member and past President of the National Holstein Board, where, among other endeavors, he helped to innovate and implement new Holstein classification systems and regulations.