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He's raised cattle, harvested corn, hay, and wheat, and even sold beef directly to consumers. Now, after 50 years (and counting) on the farm, a Blount County man has been Tennessee's Farmer of the Year.

John Keller is a third-generation farmer and owner and operator of Kelmont Farms near Maryville.

With the help of his son and wife, he oversees some 780 acres and more than 70 head of cattle.

"I told the extension agent when they nominated me I don't stand a chance. He said, yeah you do, my track record is good. So he nominated me any way," said Keller.

The UT Institute of Agriculture chose him for being a good businessman and leading a way of life that is "absolutely essential to our national standard of living."

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