Year Inducted: 

George M. KurtzGeorge M. Kurtz, a 1937 graduate of the College of Agriculture, went on to become an auctioneer, businessman and farmer in Western Kentucky.

Born in Buckeye in 1915, Kurtz showed leadership skills early in his life and was elected president of Kentucky 4-H in 1932. He entered the University of Kentucky in the fall of 1933. At UK, he was a Danforth Scholar, member of the champion SEC UK Livestock Judging Team, president of Block and Bridle, member of Strollers (drama club), member of Lamp and Cross and vice president of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

After working as a county agent for the UK  Cooperative Extension Service in Clark and Edmonson counties between 1937 and 1941, he and his wife, Jane, bought a farm near Sturgis where they raised registered Angus cattle and Suffolk sheep.

In 1945, he went to auction school and over the next 15 years he became one of the top purebred livestock auctioneers in the United States, conducting auctions in 18 different states and on several occasions auctioning at the Kentucky State Fair. In the 1960’s, the emphasis of their business moved more to real estate auctions.

Kurtz grew his auction business adding several locations in the western part of the state. Three generations of the family, starting with George, built the business into what it is today. The company, headquartered in Owensboro is one of the nation's leading real estate auction companies with realtors licensed in eight states.

Among his numerous honors are membership in the Kentucky Auctioneers Hall of Fame, National Auctioneers Hall of Fame, UK Animal Science Hall of Fame and being named a UK Fellow. He also served as the third president of the Kentucky Auctioneers Association.

 He was a member of the Sturgis United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday School for 20 years and later was a member of Settle Memorial United Methodist Church in Owensboro. He was a member of the Morganfield Lions Club where he served as Tail Twister for 25 years.

Kurtz died in 2010.