Born in 1929, as a youngster Totten helped milk 48 holsteins on the 140-acre home farm that has been in his family since 1917. He attended a one-room school in Unionville and a two-room school in Ringoes before graduating from Flemington High School in 1947. He went on to receive a certificate from Rutgers after a course of study in soil conservation.
Following service as a Civil Air Patrol scout during WWII, Totten worked part-time with the Hunterdon County Soil Conservation Service in 1948 and 1949.
From 1955 to 1965, he served as community committeeman for the federal Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (now Farm Service Agency) moving up to county committeeman from 1966-1976 and serving on the State Committee from 1977 to 1980.
Totten was active in the Hunterdon County Dairy Herd Improvement Association for nearly three decades. After selling his dairy cattle in 1973 and moving on to raise grain and hay, Totten operated a warehouse for Farmers Brokerage and Supply until 1988. He also started a liquid fertilizer and custom spraying business in 1966 with Lebanon Chemical (formerly Baugh Chemical of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and worked as a salesman for Plant Food Chemical in Cranberry, New Jersey, for 18 years.
One of the founding members of the United Farmers and Landowners in 1987, Totten served as its treasurer and facilitated the settlement of a three-acre zoning suit in East Amwell Township. Totten has been a member of the East Amwell Agricultural Advisory Committee for the past 10 years and served as a director with Farm Credit for nine years. He was active in the merger of four Farm Credit Associations into First Pioneer Farm Credit. Totten has been a member of the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture for 56 years, serving as first vice president for the past eight years. In addition, he has served on the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture Executive Committee, receiving the Board's Distinguished Service Award in 1999, and as chair of the New Jersey Farm Service Agency in 2000-2001.
A strong believer in community service, Totten has been a member of the Amwell Valley Fire Company for 50 years, serving as chief from 1962 to1965. He is also a life member of the New Jersey State Fireman's Relief Association; a member and treasurer of the Board of Fire Commissioners for East Amwell Township; and a member and trustee of the United First Presbyterian Church of Amwell.
Totten and his wife June have four children, Linda, Judy, Albert and Janet.
In recognition of and appreciation for his many years of dedication and commitment to the Garden State's agriculture industry, the State Board of Agriculture is proud to present R. Kenneth Totten with its citation for Distinguished Serviced to New Jersey Agriculture.