COOKEVILLE – Phillip Baker, Putnam County Farm Bureau Agency Manager and longtime community leader, was named chairman of the Tennessee FFA Foundation Board of Directors after a unanimous vote by the board on Monday, Dec. 7. Baker has served as vice-chairman of the board since 2014 and now follows in the footsteps of his mentor and Tennessee Tech agriculture education professor, Dr. Ben Byler, by serving as board chairman.
Baker has had a longstanding history with Tennessee FFA and the Tennessee FFA Foundation. He was a member at the Gordonsville FFA Chapter and went on to serve as the Tennessee FFA state secretary from 1986-1987. Baker graduated from Tennessee Tech University in 1991 with a B.S. degree in agriculture education, studying under Byler.
Byler commented on Baker’s continuous impact on Tennessee FFA, “I have known Phillip since 1985 when he was a student at Tennessee Tech. Phillip was a great student, was very focused and remained active in campus leadership. Phillip has had a great impact on Tennessee FFA, from his role as a state officer to two sons serving as National FFA Officers to his work with the Foundation and involvement in Tennessee Farm Bureau. He will continue to have a tremendous impact in his new position as board chairman.”
Baker has worked alongside Byler, the TN FFA Foundation executive director and other board members in growing the Tennessee FFA Foundation over the last six years. The Tennessee FFA Foundation funds scholarships, state and regional awards and a multitude of career and leadership development programs for agriculture students through sponsorships, grants, donations and partnerships.
In addition to Baker’s work with Tennessee FFA, he also recently served as community development and public policy vice-chair of the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Rotary Club and volunteers at Stevens Street Baptist Church.
The Tennessee FFA Foundation, Inc. supports the FFA mission of making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Additionally, the Tennessee FFA Foundation, Inc. promotes the best interests of students and those involved in agricultural education/FFA in Tennessee in order to enhance opportunities that will enable every FFA member to reach their maximum potential as productive citizens. Statewide, there are more than 28,000 FFA members and over 200 chapters. To learn more about FFA, visit www.tnffa.org.