Keath Killebrew was born an identical mirror twin. Keath and his brother Heath were exact mirrors of each other in looks and personality. Keath is an Enneagram 5 which means he is an observational investigator with a depth of knowledge in many areas and enjoys planning projects and Heath is an Enneagram 8 which means he is a passionate visionary. Together, just as they were a perfect pair in utero, Keath and Heath’s personalities were compatible and able to accomplish anything together.
Keath grew up on Horseshoe Lake in Mississippi with his mother, Pam, father, Zack and sister Heather. In 1992 he and his family moved to Lexington, Mississippi where he started attending Central Holmes Academy. One day at school, he saw then 14-year-old Alyssa Ellis in the lunch line and he leaned over and told a friend, “I will marry that girl one day.” Keath and Alyssa were soul mates from the start and, true to Keath’s teenaged proclamation, the two married in 2003 on a beach in Jamaica. Together they went on one adventure after another, built businesses together and grew their family to include two children, Vivian and Keath Jr.
The twins grew up as devout Christians, attending church regularly at the Horseshoe Baptist church. They worked for their daddy and learned how to farm by taking risks. There is no better demonstration of faith than a man planting seeds in the ground and watching as the gifts of God unfold.
Keath and Heath started professionally farming together in 2000 when they founded Killebrew Cotton Company (KCC). Together, the brothers amassed thousands of acres of farm land across 200 miles in Mississippi, employing men and women from Mississippi as well as South Africa. KCC farms cotton, soybeans, rice, peanuts, wheat, and watermelons.
Keath and Heath decided to expand farming to other regions and countries which is how they became aware of a truly special place in South America, known as “The Chaco”. The Chaco is an undeveloped, vast land of highly fertile soils that has never been farmed before. The brothers had a good feeling about this place, but to make sure, they sampled the soil and determined that the climate and soil is similar to the Mississippi Delta and therefore perfect for cotton farming. Keath believed that it was his job to teach people what he loved. FARMING. He knew The Chaco was the perfect location to do just that.
He began the acquisition process in the Chaco in Paraguay, South America in 2021 when tragedy struck. Keath lost his life in a disastrous plane crash on December 3, 2021. Keath died tragically that day, but his story and his legacy did not. In many instances, a man’s story ends at death, but Keath has a host of family and friends devoted to keep his legacy and good work alive. This family will continue to work together to carry on the “Shared” Mission to teach people how to work hard, dream big, and care for the land here in Mississippi and abroad.
Just 6 short months after Keath Sr.’s passing and Keath Jr.’s birth, Alyssa traveled to Paraguay to finish business plans for Killebrew Cotton Company in South America. It was a dream aimed at helping people learn how to use their hands, hearts, and minds to build a community around farming in the Chaco in Paraguay, South America. While in the Chaco, Alyssa and their children placed a cross in the field where Keath’s plane went down. It reads “Keath Gwin Killebrew, Sr. A Pioneer on a Mission for Humanity. Here all may see my body lie, but not my soul for that can fly.”
To keep their dreams alive, Alyssa met with the Paraguayan government authorities and business officials to establish a company residency and green card. The company has plans to farm in the Chaco. The Killebrews have also set up a Keath Killebrew Charisma scholarship fund at Community Foundation for Mississippi to help young men and women who want to learn how to start their future careers in farming. Keath was very good at taking young apprentices and teach them how to farm to scale and cash flow their businesses. The foundation has hopes of opening a residential Killebrew Academy that shows young farmers how to start and run their own farms. The program will show farmers and USDA where the actual breakeven of commodity prices should be for cashflow positive business. It will also share lending agencies data on beginning farmers by imputing prices of all cost incurred on a real-life farm. Each participant will become resourceful in buying and selling their own farm products.
The foundation will be giving out 3 scholarships at the Mississippi State Fair in October 2022.
The Keath Killebrew Foundation has partnered with the Mississippi State Fairground Foundation and Commissioner Andy Gibson to create the Keath Killebrew Memorial Rodeo fund-raiser. It will be produced by Ardenland and Deep South Rodeo Production on July 14th and 15th, 2023 at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson Mississippi. The foundation hopes to secure a special live concert that will be announced soon.
For more information, visit www.killebrewfoundation.org
Greetings friends, As I have said before, Fall is my favorite time of year, and it seems as though we may actually get to experience it this year! The last week has provided cool, calm, and clear days that truly lets us know the leaves will soon be changing colors, and we can begin to […]
What is something you do in your professional life that makes you successful?
What are some sweet success strategies for nonprofit professionals?