Merrit Linke is part of a 5th generation ranch family and Grand County native. He lives on the original 160 acre that was homesteaded in 1883 by his great grandfather. He graduated from Middle Park High School in Granby, from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, and from the University of Wyoming in 1985 with a BS degree in Secondary Education with a major in Physics and minors in Chemistry and Earth Science.
From 1987-2001, he taught all levels of science, mostly chemistry and physics, and coached multiple levels of several sports ranging from 7th-grade girls basketball to intercollegiate rodeo. He started a livestock feed and supplement business in 2001, worked for the livestock nutrition division for an international company and continued with his own feed distribution business until selling it in 2018.
Merrit was elected Grand County commissioner in 2012, and was re-elected in 2016 and 2020. He is currently chair of the Board and serving his third term. He also currently serves on the executive committee of Club 20; served as CCI Mountain diarist president for 3 years and currently serves as vice president of Middle Park Stockgrowers. He is a member of the Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Council (RAC) and serves as vice-chair of the Grand County Wildfire Council. Since 1999, he has owned and operated a livestock and hay production business in Grand country and continues to operate it today.