Darrell Billings and Alissa Smith Receive Honorary American FFA Degree
Two individuals instrumental to advancing FFA and agricultural education in Kentucky were selected to receive an Honorary American FFA Degree at this year’s National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.
This award recognizes those who demonstrate outstanding personal commitment to furthering the mission of agricultural education.
Darrell Billings has been a member of the Kentucky FFA Foundation board for nine years. During that time, he served as chairman and led the FFA/RAM Truck program, which raised more than $400,000 for FFA chapters across the state.
Billings owns Tanner Chrysler Products in Stanton, and also has a successful cow-calf operation – Tanner Tyme Farms. He is a former Kentucky state FFA officer and an avid supporter of youth livestock programs and other community youth and agriculture endeavors, as well as a key supporter of Kentucky FFA.
Alissa Smith is the associate executive director of the National Association of Agricultural Educators. She leads NAAE’s professional development initiatives, and is passionate about equipping agriculture teachers to deliver high quality educational opportunities that reach every student, every day. Her work impacts thousands of agriculture teachers across the United States.
Smith is also a former agriculture teacher. Along with her husband and two daughters, she raises and shows Boer goats and breeds Corgis and Australian Shepherds.
Without the efforts of highly dedicated individuals like Billings and Smith, thousands of young people would not be able to achieve the success that, in turn, contributes directly to the overall well-being of our nation.
The Honorary American FFA Degree is an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists. Members of the National FFA Organization’s board of directors approved the nomination. Billings and Smith received a certificate and medal, and their names were permanently recorded.
“Receiving an Honorary American Degree from FFA is a once-in-a-lifetime honor,” said Sheldon McKinney, executive director of the Kentucky FFA Foundation. “The fact that Kentucky has two individuals who were named in the same year speaks to how well-supported agricultural education is in our state. We are fortunate to have Darrell, Alissa, and countless others in Kentucky who are pouring so much into giving our youth opportunities they would otherwise not have.”