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First FFA executive director honored as he nears 100

Special Photo: T.D. Brown, second from left, was recently honored by Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Senate for his service in the field of agriculture education. Also pictured is his wife, Margaret and State Sen. John Wilkinson.

Special Photo: T.D. Brown, second from left, was recently honored by Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Senate for his service in the field of agriculture education. Also pictured is his wife, Margaret and State Sen. John Wilkinson.

COVINGTON -- T.D. Brown remembers when Gov. Nathan Deal was just a boy, learning to swim at the FFA-FCCLA Camp off Ga. Highway 36.

He and Deal's father worked together as agriculture teachers, and Deal was a student at the camp when Brown was the director there.

Now, in his official capacity as governor, Deal has honored Brown with a commendation in commemoration of his 100th birthday.

"I think it's one of the greatest honors in all of my life," Brown said. "I'm thankful that he made the decision to recognize me in that kind of fashion and I just appreciate it so much. I just hope I can be worthy of it."

Brown helped build the FFA Center, a six-year project beginning in 1939, and was director of the facility. In 1945, he became the first state executive secretary of the Future Farmers of America, a position he held until 1960. From 1960 to 1974 he was assistant state supervisor of agricultural education for District IV.

Prior to his work with FFA, Brown earned a degree in engineering in 1935 from the University of Georgia. He also earned a Georgia Planter degree and an Honorary American Farmer degree and was a vocational agriculture student and teacher in Cleveland and Cairo. He is a member of the Georgia Agriculture Education Hall of Fame.

Deal's commendation states that Brown "has played a vital role in our state's agricultural industry, has been a perennial leader in the field, has long held a deep, personal commitment to those in agricultural education."

The Georgia Senate also recently passed a resolution in honor of Brown, recognizing his "effective, efficient, unselfish and dedicated service to the state of Georgia" along with his "significant organizational and leadership talents, remarkable patience and diplomacy, his keen sense of vision, and his sensitivity to the needs of the citizens of this state."

Brown will turn 100 on Nov. 11. Though he is suffering with a serious health condition, he still walks a mile a day. His secret to longevity?

"Trying to live right, trying to live by the Bible and trying to treat everybody right," he said.