Bob Kern was born December 31, 1923 in Pitsfield, Illinois. He received a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Illinois in 1948, a master's degree in technical journalism from Iowa State University in 1955, and a doctorate degree in cooperative extension administration from the University of Wisconsin in 1961.
His extension career began in 1948 as an assistant farm advisor at Decatur, Illinois. In 1950, he joined the Iowa State information staff, and at the time of his early retirement in 1980, he was professor of journalism and mass communication and extension editor.
In addition to ACE, he also has served on the Iowa Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and the Iowa State University faculty council. He was named a fellow of the National Agricultural Extension Center for Advanced Study at the University of Wisconsin.
Since retiring, he has had assignments in Mexico for CIMMYT (International Center for Improvement of Maize and Wheat), and in The Hague, Netherlands for ISNAR (International Service to National Agricultural Research). Other foreign assignments have taken him to India, Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, Ukraine and other countries.
In 1987, he returned to Iowa State as adjunct professor for the year in the journalism and mass communication department.
ACE has honored him with the Agricultural Communication Award (1958), the Professional Award (1984) and the International Award (1995).