For over sixty years the name Kerr has been associated with progress, education and sustainability.
Robert S. Kerr was Oklahomaâ€™s first native-born governor, a wealthy oilman and a powerful U.S. senator. But he never forgot the lessons of land stewardship he learned as a boy growing up on a small farm near Ada.
Enchanted with the beauty of southeastern Oklahoma, Senator Kerr came to Le Flore County in the 1950s. He established a ranch and herd of registered Angus.
Senator Kerr believed strongly in the promise of Oklahoma. After he died suddenly in 1963, his wife and children established a private non-profit foundation in his name to engage in scientific, educational, and charitable activities in the state.
Sen. Kerrâ€™s ideals and commitment to the people of Le Flore County live on at the Kerr Center, located between Poteau and Wister on highway 271, on the historic Kerr Ranch.
Today, under the leadership of president and CEO Dr. Jim Horne, the center still manages 4,000 acres of the original ranch where the popular politician raised Black Angus cattle and entertained visitors such as President John F. Kennedy.
Through livestock and horticulture projects on the ranch, a comprehensive website and educational events, the Kerr Center reaches out to LeFlore County and beyond.
The center operates from earnings from its endowment, as well as grants and donations. People can support the Kerr Centerâ€™s work by becoming a â€śFriend of the Kerr Center.â€ť
Senator Kerrâ€™s daughter, Kay, and granddaughter, Christy, serve on the centerâ€™s Board of Trustees, as do LeFlore County residents Barbara Chester and Keith Wright.
Guided tours are offered one day a month. Visitors learn about the Angus X herd and vegetable crop trials. Learn more at www.kerrcenter.com or by calling (918) 647-9123.