Our Team

Killebrew Ag Foundation Board

Gerad Hardy


As an Assistant Professor of Management at the Millsaps College Else School of Management, Gerad Hardy is an engaging academic who draws upon more than 25 years of experience leading and developing award-winning teams and successful business strategies. Before entering academia, Professor Hardy was a dynamic hospitality industry veteran who held operational leadership roles in Iowa, New York, Missouri, and Mississippi. After a successful business career, he began to think about how his experiences and knowledge could benefit others, explaining, “There has always been a deep part of my identity and motivation grounded in teaching and helping others. So, becoming an instructor at the Else School of Management at Millsaps College was a natural fit and the decision to become a part of the faculty was an aspirational dream come true.” He describes his current role – Assistant Professor at Millsaps and business and leadership consultant – as allowing him the opportunity to guide today’s and tomorrow’s business leaders in growing themselves, their teams, and their businesses.

Gerad earned a Bachelor of Science in business management from SUNY Empire State College and his M.B.A at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. He is also a graduate of the Mississippi Economic Council’s Leadership Mississippi program, holds a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University, and is a current doctoral student at the University of Dallas. Hardy enjoys classic cars and is a former CrossFit instructor outside of the office. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Clinton and is passionate about helping others through involvement in the community. He has served on several area non-for-profit boards, including chairman of the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association and the Clinton Ms. Chamber of Commerce president. Gerad and his wife of 18 years, Jill, are the proud parents of Jackson, Alex, and Emily.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

The heart of sustainable agriculture lies in the hands of the small farmer who nurtures the land with genuine dedication and hope. I choose to become a board member of the Killebrew Ag Foundation (KAF) to support and grow these stewards of the earth, a role I feel is both a privilege and a responsibility. The journey of the KAF is founded on a deep commitment to the land, a belief in the power of community, and a desire to see small-scale farming thrive. I believe for the men and women that invest blood, sweat, and tears in the soil, farming is more than just a means of livelihood; it’s a way of life that fosters community and resilience. It is with this in mind that I chose to be involved with the KAF where initiatives like community-based projects can support future farmers, the sharing knowledge and opportunity, and a sense of collective strength. My passion for farming and agriculture stems from a childhood spent on the farm of my grandfather in the Ozark hills. This time gave me a profound respect for the environment and an understanding of the crucial role small farmers play in maintaining community and family. My wife’s family is from farm country in Southwest Iowa and are still small family farmers to this day. So, this connection is not just professional; it’s personal, having witnessed the challenges and triumphs of a small family farming in various communities.

Shea Whitfield


I am a 6th generation Mississippi farmer with the 7th generation (my sons) on the farm now. I grew up in Yazoo City on a row crop farm with cattle and pigs. Through years on a farm, Shea learned the skill of multi-tasking and does this well in his day to day life, work and farm operation. Shea, his wife Susan and their two sons operate 7 Gen Pastures where they raise cattle, chickens, pigs, goats, donkeys, and horses in Hinds County. Shea is employed in the MS Delta by a major farm supply distributor.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

Keath was one of my best friends and this was a great way to preserve his legacy. I also wanted to provide for the future of agriculture in Mississippi. I read a quote once that said, “for a society to flourish, old men must plant trees whose shade they will never enjoy.” I’m hoping to plant trees.

Barney Daly


Barney Daly, President of Community Bank in Madison County has over 40 years of service in the banking industry. He earned his BS in Banking and Finance at Mississippi State University and his MBA from Mississippi College. Daly also graduated from the LSU Graduate School Banking of the South and the University of Oklahoma Lending Graduate School. An advocate of education in Madison County, Daly has served on multiple PTO Boards. Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann appointed Daly to the Post-Secondary Financial Assistance Board. He was re-appointed to that board in July 2022. In addition to his involvement in education, Daly has strong community involvement with many national and local organizations serving on a myriad of boards. Daly is an active member of his church. He is married to Patti Daly, and they have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

As a banker in Mississippi, the agriculture industry is vital to all our wellbeing, I’m a big fan of Alyssa so I knew I had to help her spread the word on the importance of getting more young folks interested in farming. KAF is a noble cause for the State of Mississippi.

Dr. Gayle Clark


After earning degrees in Agricultural Communications and Agriculture and Extension Education, along with a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, I served 16 years as a high school agriculture teacher and advanced placement coordinator. After my time in the public schools, I have an additional 8 years of experience in educational program development as a student organization coordinator with Mississippi FFA Association/MS Department of Education, and I served as an agricultural education curriculum writer and manager, teacher-coach and Career and Technical Education teacher trainer with the Mississippi State University Research and Curriculum Unit. In 2019, I was invited to become a part of Commissioner Andy Gipson’s staff at the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. There I serve as the Agricultural Workforce Development, Education and Outreach Director. I have recently earned a doctorate in agricultural and extension education.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

As a lifetime agricultural educator, my heart and passion focuses on providing opportunities for young people to grow, learn and succeed through the agriculture industry. The mission and vision of KAF is a culmination of all of the things I have been working for and serving throughout my career, and I want to be an active part of carrying out the intent of this Foundation.

Dr. Alyssa Killebrew

I am from a 5th generation Mississippi Delta farm family. My great great grandfather came here from Germany. Through thick and thin, the depression, recession and floods we are still fighting the good fight and standing strong for farmers. Alyssa was reared in Holmes, County and was surrounded by farming and farm related industry. She began her post secondary education at the University of MS. Throughout her quest for knowledge and education she earned multiple degrees; a Doctorate of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology), a Masters of Education, Bachelors Business Admin and a Bachelors in Psychology. Since 2002 Alyssa has worked directly or indirectly in the field of mental health and psychology. Her experience runs the gamut of adolescent to geriartic clinical psychology and she specializes in substance abuse, mental health issues and trauma. Alyssa has administrative experience, clinical experience, internships and externships all focusing on mental health and substance abuse for individuals of all ages, She has managed grants, worked with Regional Mental Health groups and State agencies in her quest to treat mental illness where it occurs. Alyssa enjoys many hobbies and is an avid hunter, gardner, and artist. She enjoys working with glass, wood and other mediums to create one of a kind treasures. Alyssa is co-founder of Killebrew Ag Foundation and the Founder of the Killebrew International Professional Rodeo. Through the myriad of her accomplishments and accolades, her greatest treasure is her two children.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

It’s my passion to help cultivate cultivators through land-based training and educational scholarships. I love the quote,” You give a man a fish you feed him for a day, you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.” That’s what this foundation is all about. Teaching and training our next generation of farmers so that they can care for the land, our community and their family for a lifetime. This is the real meaning of sustainability while staying relevant and using modern technologies. Cheers to growing growers!

Joseph Donovan

Joe Donovan currently is the Division Director of The Office of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Mississippi Development Authority. The Office focuses on developing an environment that ‘raises entrepreneurs’ and building an entrepreneurial eco-system targeting next generation technologies. Specifically developing MS economy through technology based economic development. Donovan has been best described by the Mississippi Business Journal as a “serial entrepreneur”. Prior to MDA, he was the principle at The Donovan Consulting Group, (DCG). The DCG focused on business development including startups, business development plans, business restructuring, re-branding, growth and expansion, along with M&A.

As the founding Director of Entrepreneurial Development at Millsaps College’s Else School of Management, Donovan coordinated a new core focus on entrepreneurship within the Undergraduate and Graduate business programs.

Donovan has thirty-five years of progressive senior management experience, serving the last 25 years as a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and CFO/Vice President of Finance for three multi-state organizations with gross sales exceeding $165 million annually.

Additionally, the Ohio native was co-founder of three pharmaceutical manufacturing companies that made up Allan Holdings – Pro Derma LLC (2002), Pharma Pac, LLC (2003) and Allan Pharmaceutical (2004). From March 2002 to September 2010, Donovan served Allan Holdings LLC and related companies as Vice President and CFO.

Donovan earned undergraduate degrees in Business Administration from Thomas More College and Xavier University, along with his MBA from Millsaps College. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Urban and Regional Planning.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

I have an intense interest in AG innovation and economic development within the AG sector. Developing our next generation of farmers is critical to both areas.

Dr. Robin Parker

Dr. Robin Parker serves as the Workforce Director at the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, where she oversees the South Central Mississippi Works workforce area, overseeing a robust 17-county workforce area.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Science in Technology, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration, all from Mississippi State University. Additionally, she carries certifications in federal grants management and school leadership.

Her professional narrative began in the classroom as an 8th-grade teacher. This invaluable experience laid the foundation for subsequent roles, including serving as a Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment manager at Mississippi State University’s Research and Curriculum Unit. She has held leadership positions at Copiah Lincoln Community College, the Mississippi Community College Board, and Hinds Community College. She proudly serves on the Mississippi United to End Homelessness and the Killebrew Ag Foundation Board of Directors. Family holds a special place in her heart, she is married to Victor Parker, and has two daughters.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

I decided to join the Killebrew Ag Foundation Board with the aim of contributing to the creation of opportunities for individuals aspiring to pursue careers in agriculture. Growing up in a family of farmers, I gained invaluable lessons on the farm that have profoundly shaped and prepared me for life. My aspiration is to extend these opportunities to individuals who did not have the privilege of being born into an agricultural family.

John Douglas

John “Lee” Douglas currently serves as the Director of the Diesel Academy for Hinds Community College.

My story in Agriculture started when my parents bought a piece of land just outside of Raymond Mississippi. It was my Dad’s dream to have a small farm on his very own piece of land. My dad’s dream came true and I was fortunate enough to be a part of it early on in my childhood. I helped him build fences, work cows, drive equipment, and everything else that comes along with having a small farm. Being a part of that journey and watching him care for his farm showed me what agriculture was all about. That experience led me to 2 years of class work with the Agriculture Department of Hinds Community College before transferring to Mississippi State University. While at Mississippi State I earned a Bachelor’s of Agricultural Engineering Technology and Business with a certificate in Geospatial and Remote Sensing Technologies. After graduation from MSU, I returned to Raymond where I was offered a position teaching Precision Agriculture for Hinds Community College. *While teaching I was able to continue my education and obtain a Master’s of Crop Soil and Environmental Science from Auburn University. I then transitioned to the diesel school, where I am now.” My dad still has his small farm and now my wife and I are in the process of starting our own.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

We have enjoyed so much support from the local farming community over the years. I am very excited about this opportunity to serve on the Board of the Killebrew Ag Foundation because this feels like a chance to give some of that back.

Reid Nevins

Reid Nevins is currently a Specialist in the Center for 4-H Youth Development with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. His role as Environmental Science Specialist allows him to work with Extension Agents, Volunteers and youth all over the State in outdoor related educational programs and activities which include 4-H Shooting Sports, kayaking, camps, archeology, sport fishing and much more. Reid is married to Kate Nevins and they have two young sons.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

I choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board because I enjoy helping with youth organizations and anything I can do to help guide a future leaders I am all in!

Katherine B. Riley, Esq.

Katherine was reared in Lexington, MS, where she currently lives with her husband Matt Riley and children John and Kate. Katherine received her undergraduate and juris doctorate degrees at Ole Miss. She has practiced law with her father Don Barrett at Barrett Law Group, P.A. since 1998.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

My first and foremost reason is my deep love and great respect for Alyssa Ellis Killebrew and her sister Heather Ellis Sellers who I grew up with in Lexington. The second reason is I believe in the purpose of this organization. I live in a farming community and i understand the importance and the significant impact farming brings to a community.

Jean A. Weiss

Jean is a retired business owner specializing in association executive and administrative management of national and statewide non-profit trade associations. She grew up on an Illinois farm where she learned the core values and work ethic so important to a career in agriculture. Jean has a bachelors degree in geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL and a degree in communications from Parkland College in Champaign, IL. She currently also serves on the boards of the Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society and Camp Ondessonk, a youth camp located in Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest. Jean is married and has three children.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

Agriculture is Mississippi’s number one industry and the average age of a farmer in Mississippi is 62. Having grown up on a farm, I understand the importance of educating a new generation of young people in traditional farming methods combined with new technology and business training, to ensure Mississippi’s long term agricultural strength and economic success.

Britton Hatcher

I was born and raised in Rolling Fork MS which is a small delta town in the south delta. After high school, I obtained a Forestry degree from Mississippi State University where i also obtained a Masters of Extension Education. After graduation, I spent 10 years working as an Extension Forester with the Mississippi State University Extension Service before going to work for the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation where i have now worked since 2011. I am married to Emily Sneed Hatcher, and together we reside in Grenada, MS, raising two children.

Why do you choose to serve on the Killebrew Ag Foundation board?

To help leave the future of agriculture in a better place.

Christy Gutherz

Executive Director

Christy Gutherz, retired from the MS Dept of Corrections (MDOC) after twenty-nine years in the field of Corrections. She is a graduate of Delta State University with a BS in Criminal Justice. Christy also works as a certified auditor for the American Correctional Association in her retirement. She is active in her church and enjoys mentoring and her involvement with two groups focused on the successful reintegration of the formerly incarcerated. Christy joined KAF in March 2023 and served as a volunteer in the months leading to the Inaugural Keath Killebrew Memorial Rodeo.

Why do you choose to serve the Killebrew Ag Foundation?

Working with Dr. Killebrew at MDOC was such a positive experience that I welcomed the opportunity to work with the foundation. My exposure to the Ag Community sparked a resurgence of memories from my attending Delta State and learning first-hand about agriculture and farming. I learned about row crops and witnessed the beautiful “Delta Snow” when cotton is in full bloom. Reared on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the daughter of a marine biologist, my knowledge of food and harvesting was solely the seafood industry. Listening to stories from proud men and women that farm, watching the transformation of the fields from planting to growth and harvest, gave rise to an appreciation for the hard work and dedication of individuals working in the field of agriculture. I am honored to serve as a member of the Foundation’s distinguished Board of Directors. This group comes together from varied backgrounds, with a myriad of talents and areas of expertise all focused on the betterment of Mississippi, one farmer at a time.