Keath Killebrew Charisma Award honors legacy and passion for agriculture

Three men stand together before a piece of machinery in a field.
Keath Killebrew and brother Heath worked together on Killebrew Cotton Company in Tchula, Mississippi.

Keath Killebrew, co-owner and farmer with the Killebrew Cotton Company in Tchula, Mississippi, dreamed about farming and ranching as a young boy. His family says he accomplished everything he ever dreamed of because he was dedicated to waking up every day and hitting his knees to pray. He then used the hands, big heart and brilliant mind God gave him. Killebrew’s greatest passion was agriculture, living his motto to “never give up.”

“He was a hard-working farmer that was happy to get his hands dirty in the soil. His passion was to educate those who wanted to learn to be able to plant and take care of their families,” said his wife, Dr. Alyssa Ellis Killebrew. Tragically, his life was cut short when he passed away in December of 2021. “He died living his passion to the fullest and educating others how to live off their land in another country.”

Keath Killebrew, Dr. Alyssa Killebrew and daughter, Vivian

The Killebrew family has set up an award fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi in his name called the Keath Killebrew Charisma Award, created for the purpose of supporting education for young men and women interested in agriculture. This scholarship will be given to young people who are passionate about agriculture and helping others in this field, using principles important to Keath such as integrity, grace, timeliness, honesty and respect.

This award fund invites Mississippians who have a proven work history, who are passionate about agriculture and helping others, and who will be majoring in agriculture or a related field to apply. The deadline is June 15, 2022. Award recipients will be notified and honored during a special ceremony during the 2022 Mississippi State Fair. The minimum award will be $1,000 per recipient. Multiple awards will be given.

His legacy also lives on in the lives of his family who have made it their mission to continue his life’s work. Keath and his twin brother, Heath, have 17,000 acres of row crop farms spread throughout 6 counties in Mississippi. Additionally, they farm cattle and bees.

Reflecting on her late husband, Alyssa said Keath used his spiritual grace, knowledge of agriculture, love of people, sense of adventure and passion to make the world a better place by being a vessel to share God’s love and grace. The fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi seeks to continue his life’s work by helping a young person who is passionate about agriculture and serving people through their future career.