Billy Kempfer was born in Melbourne, Florida and graduated from Polk State College with an A.S. in Animal Science. He is partner with his brother and family on Deer Park Ranch-Kempfer Cattle Company located in Brevard and Osceola Counties. The ranch is a diversified operation with commercial beef cattle along with Purebred Brahman and Angus cattle, timber management, a sod company and wildlife management with Florida’s oldest hunting lease to the same club dating back to 1931.
Kempfer serves as Chairman of the St. Johns River Water Management Agricultural Advisory Committee. He has served on the committee since its inception and has helped support causes that have been beneficial to agricultural producers in the St. Johns District. Kempfer served as President of the St. Johns River Food Producers Association which represents landowners to governmental agencies when the government is establishing new policies regulating agriculture production and water use. As a leader and President of the Brevard County and Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Kempfer led the fight for private property rights and environmental issues. Using his mediation skills and outstanding diplomacy, Kempfer garnered the respect of ranchers and legislators alike.
Kempfer has provided exceptional leadership and mentoring for more than four decades to countless youth pursuing agricultural interests through 4-H, FFA and IFAS programs. This is evident through his advocacy of UF/IFAS and his commitment to the Animal Science Department. Kempfer allows Deer Park Ranch to serve as a learning laboratory for IFAS youth, Extension Agents, Specialists and Faculty. Some of his noteworthy collaborations with the department include supplying the department with beef heifers and bull semen for prodigy testing and feed efficiency studies. Other studies on the ranch include mole cricket control, forage variety demonstrations; and a cattle grub study and noxious weed research.
Billy and his wife of 49 years, Becky (Partin), raised 4 children on the ranch near Deer Park and now have 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Their 3 sons and grandchildren are active in the ranching operations.