James Kabler graduated in 1938 with a degree in animal science from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, and in 1998, he was inducted into the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments and service to others.
Kabler, a World War II veteran, continued his education at the University of Oklahoma and Purdue University. During his 37-year career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers’ Home Administration, Kabler set the example of excellence, assisting farm families in establishing and sustaining their farms and land resources. His expertise and professionalism had the Secretary of Agriculture calling on him to assist and solve problems around the country. He received the first USDA Superior Award in Kentucky in 1951 for outstanding work in the field of agriculture.
Following his retirement as a USDA district supervisor, Kabler was the appraiser for all loans and the public relations officer for the Horse Cave State Bank.
He received the Distinguished Service Award from UK College of Agriculture Alumni Association in 1986. He was a life member of the UK College of Agriculture Alumni Association, a member and past president of Mammoth Cave Agriculture Alumni, a member of the Glasgow area UK Alumni, past president of UK Hart County Alumni.
He was active in his church and a number of civic organizations throughout his life. He received a number of awards for his community service including a civic citation from the City of Munfordville for community service, Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1993 by the Hart County Chamber of Commerce, Outstanding Rotarian Award in 1985, and Caverna Memorial Hospital Trustees award for personnel development in 1997.
He was a member and past chairman of the North Central Kentucky Education Foundation, member and honorary member of Bluegrass Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. He was a life member, past board of director of the Hart County Historical Society and Museum in Munfordville, a member and past commander of American Legion, member and past Master of Green River Masonic Lodge #88, 32nd degree Mason member of Valley of Louisville, member and Worthy Patron of Order of Eastern Star Munfordville Chapter #322, ground representative of Kentucky in Saskatchewan, a member and past president of National Association of Retired Federal Employees Chapter 1269 of Munfordville, member and past county chairman of the American Red Cross, member of the Hart County Chamber of Commerce, past president and member of Horse Cave Rotary Club.