Russell E. Kendall was born December 30, 1900 at Galesburg, Illinois. His boyhood was spent on a Knox County livestock farm in the usual environment of that era of horse and mule-power farming. His interest in 4-H began at an early age and was to be an integral part of his later life. In 1915 he won the junior division of the county corn-yield contest. A registered Shorthorn heifer launched his 4-H livestock activities.
He entered the University of Illinois as a freshman in 1917. In the summer of 1918 he was employed by Dr. T.F. Dewitt of Morrison and Parshall, Colorado who owned and operated several registered Hereford ranches. It was here that he met Professor Howard J. Gramlich, then Chairman of the Animal Husbandry Department of the Nebraska College of Agriculture. This meeting was to change his future environment. When Professor Gramlich purchased his first foundation stock for his Grassland registered Hereford farm south of Lincoln, Nebraska, he invited Russ to become part of the operation. He entered the Nebraska Agricultural College in February, 1924. He graduated in February, 1927 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Zeta and the Block and Bridle Club. He was a member of various judging teams and acted as an assistant teacher.
After his graduation he was employed by the Packers National Bank of Omaha, Nebraska where he was assigned to inaugurate as service department for the bank's farm and livestock customers. He served as Vice-President until 1946 and has continued on the Board of Directors. He then joined Nixon & Company of Omaha, a manufacturer of livestock feeds, where his major responsibilities were in nutrition and customer service. This position has developed even further his association with the Midwest livestock interests.
Throughout these years he always maintained his interest in 4-H and other youth programs. The past several years he has been Chairman of the Youth Activities Committee, Agribusiness Division of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
In October 1965, he was honored by Ak-Sar-Ben of Omaha for his continued interest in 4-H clubs.