Keith Nantz was raised in Northeast Oregon in the small town of Imbler. Known for its diverse crops, good people, and majestic mountains, it will always be home. The year after graduating high school, Keith served as the State FFA Vice President traveling the state and country in what was the beginning of his leadership development and involvement in the agricultural industry. He attended Eastern Oregon University, a satellite school of Oregon State University, and after two years of school and fighting wildland fires in the summer, he decided to make firefighting his career path.
After eight years of rappelling out of helicopters with the USFS, Keith decided to begin his next career in the ranching industry. After going through the school of hard knocks, trial by fire, and some major learning curves, he began a partnership that runs a cow-calf operation in the high desert of central Oregon, produces retail hay for the large horse community that surrounds Portland, and grows a small amount of dryland wheat.
Once this partnership was formed, Keith also became involved with the Cattlemen’s Association in Oregon. He became the Private Lands Committee Chair and was then appointed as the Young Cattlemen’s Chair (YCC) for the state, which allowed him to be the delegate for the NCBA YCC Tour in 2014. After an amazing experience with a lot of new friends, he was elected as chair again in 2015. Keith attended his first NCBA convention and trade show in San Antonio in 2015 where he was the Oregon delegate for the new Young Beef Leaders (YBL) roundtable. Through many discussions and idea sharing around the room, they laid the foundation for the new YBL program within NCBA, and Keith was elected chairman. Through this experience Keith has learned an immense amount about the importance of the cattlemen’s association both on a state and national level, and is excited about future involvement.
Along with the ranching operation, Keith formed another partnership to begin direct selling beef to local restaurants and retail outlets in the Pacific Northwest.
Keith is passionate about the land and its sustainability, and enjoys the great outdoors. His greatest passion is the people who make up this amazing cattle industry.