John Keeler: Helping farmers for 43 years

Grandchildren Cavean Keeler, 6, (shaking hands) and Collynn Owens, 14, congratulate John Keller on his retirement from the Utah Farm Bureau during open house in Manti.


John Keeler: Helping

farmers for 43 years


Says the best thing about his job was the people he met


By Suzanne Dean


Dec. 14, 2017


MANTI—John Keeler says when he reflects on his 43 years with the Utah Farm Bureau, the thing that stands out in his mind is the people he met.

Keeler will retire, effective Dec. 31, as manager of the Farm Bureau Southern Region. He was honored Friday, Dec. 8 at an open house at the Old Historic Manti City Hall.

Keeler said he was in Salt Lake City when President Donald Trump made his announcement about the Bear’s Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments. He found himself in the middle of demonstrators protesting the president and his actions.

“I’ve never seen a more vile, hateful group of people,” he said. Many of their chants were punctuated with the “F” word.

He said he felt so glad to have associated with a very different breed of people as a Farm Bureau manager.

“People who are tied to the land have a sense about them that some other people don’t have,” he said. “They know you can’t take anything for granted.”

A table at the event was laden with gifts from Farm Bureau chapters and plaques Keeler had received over the years.

Keeler’s replacement will be Brett Behling of Ferron, Emery County, a volunteer leader in the Emery County chapter.

Keeler says he has his work cut out for him in retirement. His family owns 1,800 acres south of Manti. There are 10 miles of fences on the property that need to be maintained, repaired or rebuilt.

He says he’s looking forward to getting back to farm work but glad that he “won’t have to make a living from it.”


John Keeler holds one of many awards he received during more than four decades as Southern Region manager for the Utah Farm Bureau. The plaques were displayed on a table at an open house in Manti last week.