WASHINGTON (Sept. 14, 2023) – During their 55th Annual Meeting, the Public Lands Council (PLC) honored two individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the public lands ranching community. PLC selected Oregon rancher John O’Keeffe as the 2023 President’s Award recipient and Dr. Barry Perryman as the 2023 Friend of PLC.
PLC President Mark Roeber recognized John O’Keeffe with the 2023 PLC President’s Award. O’Keeffe’s family has ranched in Lake County, Oregon since they emigrated from Ireland in the early 1900s. For them, ranching is a family affair and means that multiple members of the family are involved both in the ranch and with the wider community. O’Keeffe has served as president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, a long-time representative of the state to the national Public Lands Council, and as a voice for the industry in national commissioners and leadership positions.
“John O’Keeffe lives and breathes the notion that public lands ranching is good for the land, good for our communities, and is a key part of our nation’s future. His visionary leadership at the state and national level has made Oregon and our industry better. Most recently, John has given of his time to represent the industry as a whole in a federal effort to develop a wildfire strategy that moves us away from crisis management toward thoughtful, methodical prevention and mitigation,” said PLC President Mark Roeber. “John is not only preserving western heritage and producing high-quality protein, but his work will influence years of natural resource policy for ranchers, landowners, and communities across the country. I am honored to give John this award and thank him for all that he does.”
Dr. Barry Perryman was honored as the recipient of the 2023 Friend of PLC Award. Dr. Perryman is a professor of Rangeland Ecology and Management at the University of Nevada-Reno, where he also serves as the Department Chair for Agriculture, Veterinary and Rangeland Sciences, college of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources.
“Dr. Perryman is truly a great friend of the Public Lands Council and an invaluable resource for ranchers, due to his vast knowledge of the native and non-native grasses that grow on the western range,” said PLC Vice President Tim Canterbury. “For all the work we as ranchers do, we cannot do this job alone, we need help from friends and allies. Dr. Perryman exemplifies everything about this award, from his research into how grazing non-native grasses can reduce catastrophic wildfires to educating the next generation on the best practices to manage working lands, his tireless work makes our jobs easier and more efficient. I want to thank Dr. Perryman for his dedication to the relentless pursuit of science to guide responsible range management and for everything he does for our industry.”