Rena Johnson donates fully restored tractor to White County FFA Chapter


Bill Johnson’s family has become an appreciated supporter for the White County FFA Chapter this year.

Mr. Johnson graduated from UT, in 1958, with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration/finance. He lived by the motto “It is more blessed to give than receive,” and his life goes to prove that. He was a tireless worker for his beloved UT, serving on the Athletics Board from 1972-1974 before being elected to the Board of Trustees in 1975; he served as vice-chairman of the Board from 1987-1991, retiring from this prestigious body in 1996.  He was also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, serving as a director; he served in a director capacity of the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.

For the greater part of his life he was an active and faithful fourth generation member of the First United Methodist Church in various capacities, including Sunday School teacher and trustee.  He served the Methodists denominationally as a trustee of Martin College, in Pulaski, as director of the Tennessee Conference United Methodist Foundation, and as a lay preacher.

Mr. Johnson also felt a great obligation to give back to the city that had given him so much and served the people of the community in various ways, including as an alderman and vice-mayor of the city of Sparta, the first president of the United Givers Fund, the president of the Upper Cumberland Development Association, and as the director of Sparta/White County Chamber of Commerce.

However, this only scratches the surface of Mr. Johnson’s legacy.  Mr. Johnson and his family have been a part of White County’s agricultural industry since the 1800s.  Even to this day, the Johnson family continues to see the importance of agriculture. After the passing of her husband, Rena Johnson wanted to share his passion for agriculture with others. Not only had FFA played a large role in her husband’s life but in her life as well. This year Mrs. Johnson donated one of Mr. Johnson’s fully restored Farmall MD tractors to the White County FFA Chapter. She was gifted an honorary FFA Chapter Degree for her continual support of the White County FFA program.

A few of the Chapter’s members were given the opportunity to sit down and talk to Mrs. Johnson. They shared stories of how agriculture and FFA had impacted them, and Mrs. Johnson gave a brief history of the Johnson Family Farm.

Mrs. Johnson was invited to the Annual FFA Banquet and Awards Ceremony as a special guest. While mingling with others, she stated how proud she was of the Chapter and the emphasis that is put on agriculture to make it so important.

Mrs. Johnson’s generous donation and continued support does not go unnoticed by our chapter; we are so grateful.


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