Lincoln County’s own Keith Larson received a letter from the president of the University of Nevada, Reno, May 27, telling him, “I am delighted to inform you that you were nominated for and selected to receive the 2020 University of Nevada, Reno College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources/Cooperative Extension Award of Excellence for outstanding support staff of the year. This award distinguishes your selfless service to our college and our university.”
This award amounted to much more than merely a regional accolade. It represented the top award for service to the entire state’s Extension program. Keith Larson came to Lincoln County in 1974 and has attained an impressive collection of accomplishments in the interim. For 30 years, Larson worked for Union Pacific as an agent and roadmaster’s clerk, which eventually included the management position of “implementer” of the railroad’s IT staff, focused on modernizing Union Pacific’s railroad operations nationwide through the implementation of advanced software.
That duty took Larson across the nation for 15 years, but upon retiring, he returned to the place that he loved most. Accordingly, in 2004, Larson became a councilman in Caliente, which led afterwards to his third term as mayor of Nevada’s smallest incorporated city.
A gardener at heart, Larson jumped at the chance to lead the county’s hoop- house experiments from 2006-2008, and eventually he was hired to be the administrative clerk for Extension in September 2015, where Larson has worked ever since.
Throughout that time, Larson has served as the secretary for the volunteer fire department and as treasurer for Lincoln County Authority of Tourism and Caliente’s Heritage Museum. When speaking of Extension, Larson enthusiastically states, “I love my job!”
Serving both Lincoln County and Extension, when the position of Extension Educator was vacant for a year, Larson not only diligently accomplished his own required duties, but ran the entire office for a year, until the vacancy could be filled. During that time, he helped to establish the budget for the office, mentored two other employees, and served as the Extension representative for the community and university.
Larson is also a family man and has three daughters and two sons. Of his daughters, Linda Larson-Butler works for the City of Caliente as deputy city clerk. Charlotte Gloeckner is a paraprofessional for Elko County School District in Spring Creek, NV, and Anna Gloeckner is a paraprofessional for Lincoln County School District in Panaca, NV.
Of his sons, Jeremy Larson works for Utah as a counselor for disadvantaged kids in St. George, UT. Matthew Larson works for the Clark County Assessor’s office in Las Vegas.
In total, Larson has 23 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and he’s proud of them all.
Larson often repeats his favorite mantra concerning the land and the people he loves, “If you can’t find it in Lincoln County, you don’t need it.”