Feb. 27, 2020
Contact: Sean Ellis, (208) 220-5428
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Idaho Farm Bureau Federation CEO to retire after 41 years
POCATELLO – After 41 years of service to the state’s largest general farm organization, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation CEO Rick Keller will retire at the end of June.
Keller, 65, announced his retirement to staff earlier this month. He has served as CEO and executive vice president of IFBF for the past 21 years.
IFBF President Bryan Searle, a farmer from Shelley, said Keller’s experience and leadership within the organization will be sorely missed.
“The vast experience that Rick has gained working for Idaho Farm Bureau Federation and his knowledge about the organization as well as Idaho’s agriculture industry is hard to put in words,” he said. “He has breathed Farm Bureau and agriculture for more than four decades and his leadership and experience truly will be missed.”
Total IFBF membership increased during 39 of the 41 years Keller served the organization. Idaho Farm Bureau Federation now represents 80,635 member families in Idaho, including 14,000 that are involved with the state’s agricultural industry.
Keller said state and federal agencies and leaders regularly reach out to Idaho Farm Bureau Federation before making important decisions “because they know Farm Bureau reaches to the depth and breadth of farmers and ranchers throughout the state.”
IFBF’s 19-member board of directors, which consists of farmers and ranchers from across Idaho, released a statement thanking Keller for his service to Farm Bureau and wishing him a happy retirement.
“Rick has been an integral part of Idaho Farm Bureau Federation for more than four decades and he has served this organization faithfully and well,” the statement said. “While his leadership will be missed, he has more than earned his upcoming retirement and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
The board has begun the process of seeking a replacement for Keller.
Keller said the timing was right for him to retire and he has no doubt the organization will be left in capable hands.
“I think Idaho Farm Bureau will be left in good hands with the professional staff and volunteer leaders that run the organization,” he said. “I think there will not even be a hiccup because the organization has a great depth of leadership.”
Keller said the best part of his job with IFBF “was working with and getting to know the organization’s volunteer leaders as they worked to improve the livelihoods of the farmer and rancher members of the Farm Bureau.”
Keller started out with Farm Bureau as a regional field manager for southeast Idaho and then worked as IFBF’s organizational director, a position that had him responsible for working with IFBF membership and the 37 county Farm Bureaus throughout Idaho.
He said he and his wife, Alene, look forward to spending more time with their family, which includes five sons and 14 grandchildren.
“It has been an amazing experience that has blessed our lives immensely,” he told IFBF staff in an email announcing his looming retirement. “Of greatest satisfaction (to Alene and I) is the knowledge that Farm Bureau is in the very capable hands of a professional and qualified staff.”
“The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation has never been so respected or strong as it currently is,” Keller added in his email to staff. “County Farm Bureaus are strong and active with viable leadership. Idaho is the largest Farm Bureau in the West and is accepted as a leader and respected among the West and (American Farm Bureau Federation).”