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Norris Kenneth Carnes | 1969

One of the longest-serving champions of agriculture in the Saddle & Sirloin Club.

1895-1997 | Artist: Thomas Embert (“Tom”) Phillips (1927-2005)

Impact & Accomplishments

Certainly one of the longest-serving champions of agriculture in the Saddle & Sirloin Club, Norris K. Carnes died in 1997 at the age of 102. Born in Royalton, Minnesota, Carnes received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1917, before serving as a field artillery captain in World War I.

After the war, he taught animal husbandry at the university, while earning his master’s degree. In 1922, he joined the Central Livestock Association—the world’s largest livestock marketing agency at that time—becoming general manager in 1925.

Norris Carnes achieved many honors in his long life, including: University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award (1951), American Meat Institute Animal Agriculture Award (1968—the same year his portrait was hung), and Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame (2004).

On the board of the State Agricultural Society from 1944-1981, Carnes supervised the cattle, horse, meats, and space rental departments for the Minnesota State Fair. In 1977, Carnes Avenue on the Minnesota fairgrounds was dedicated to honor him.

Did You Know?

Carnes served on livestock advisory committees convened by U.S. secretaries of agriculture in every administration from Franklin Roosevelt’s to Richard Nixon’s.

Carnes served in the U.S. field artillery during World War I and earned a Silver Star for gallantry in France. At 24, he was reportedly the youngest captain to serve in the field artillery at that time.

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 2014. The DNR Building is located at 1740 Carnes Avenue on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. This wood structure is one of the largest log structures in the Midwest.

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