Chris Kirby is part of a fifth-generation ranching family in Oregon. He has held a passion for agriculture since age five when he owned his first milk cow named Valentine and horse named Birthday.
After his parents moved to the Portland area when he was a teen, Kirby spent summers on his grandparents’ ranch and helped full time during his last two years of high school. While in high school, he worked on all facets of livestock management and feed production for the 750 head produced by the Circle Five Ranch in Bonanza, Oregon.
After graduating high school, Kirby promptly entered the U.S. Army, proudly serving in both the U.S. and Korea. He improved both his self-discipline and leadership skills, which he knew would be applied to his passion of agriculture.
Kirby graduated summa cum laude from Oregon State University with a major in agricultural business management and a minor in crop and soil science. He has banking and loan experience in both the public and private sectors, having worked for USDA-Farm Service Agency and Sterling Savings Bank of Oregon.
True to his passion, Kirby also operated his own ranch with his wife Sara and their children. In 2008, they purchased a property that was neglected and improved it to the point of being one of the most productive properties in the area. This was accomplished through his hard work, careful management, and application of modern farming principals such as Ultra High Density Grazing for yearling cattle.
Kirby has a strong belief that the ranching industry needs to provide a safe, secure, and wholesome food supply to a growing global population. He believes that the production of food supply needs to be done in an environmentally responsible manner that accounts for balancing the needs of the production environment with wildlife policy, and ultimately, an all-encompassing natural resource management approach. He is a forward-thinking individual interested in helping the industry meet these demands, while preserving the traditions and heritage of the ranching community. As part of the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management, he hopes to learn the advanced methods, business skills, and leadership skills required to contribute to the future of a successful global agricultural community.