The San Joaquin-Stanislaus Cattlemen’s Association presented Kenny Watkins from Linden with the 2019 Cattleman of the Year award last month at their Christmas party in Oakdale. Each year the organization singles out an outstanding member who has been a leader in the production of cattle and helps to improve and promote the industry.
Watkins runs a commercial cow/calf operation and farms cherries, peaches, walnuts, almonds and hay on the east side of Linden. He has been a liaison between ranchers and numerous government agencies, helping to find common sense solutions to many issues surrounding livestock, natural resources, and public lands management. Watkins worked with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Bureau of Livestock Identification, USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, on numerous occasions to find solutions to industry issues. He identified the needs of cattlemen and found ways to resolve conflict moving the industry forward. Often, his guidance and direction formed support among all the organizations for livestock legislative policy and regulations.
Watkins married his wife, Molly, after meeting her in 4-H while showing cattle. They have two children: Kenneth who is a senior at Oklahoma State University and Elisabeth who is a freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno. Both children are studying agriculture and have a small herd of Shorthorn cattle. Elisabeth was selected as the 2019 Cattlewoman of the Year for the San Joaquin-Stanislaus Cattlewomen in September at their Oakdale meeting.