Billingsley adds title
Picayune native Bob “Pic” Billingsley was recently elected the 2014 Mississippi Poultry Association Chairman of the Board.
The Mississippi Poultry Association formed in 1937, represents poultry companies, allied industries and growers. Poultry is the state’s largest agricultural industry directly employing 28,000 people and resulting in another 27,000 indirect jobs. Mississippi ranks fifth, nationally, in poultry production.
Billingsley, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Billingsley, is director of development and engineering for Sanderson Farms, Inc. based in Laurel. Sanderson Farms is the third largest poultry company in the United States.
He has been married to Nancy for 26 years and they have a 19-year-old son, Steven. He is a graduate of Picayune High School and Delta State University where he received an accounting degree in 1983 and a Masters of Business Administration in 1984.
It was at college where he was given the nickname “Pic,” because of his hometown. Upon graduation from college, he joined Sanderson Farms, worked in several capacities and now serves on the company’s Executive Committee.
Sam Billingsley, former Picayune High School Principal, said his son became fascinated with poultry when his fourth grade teacher gave him four Easter chicks one year.
“He loved them and I give her the credit for his career choice,” Sam said.
This is something that Bob verified by phone.
“I have always loved agriculture and my fourth grade teacher lived in a rural area with farm animals. I was so excited when she gave me those chickens,” Bob said.
Teachers and coaches played a big part of his career climb.
“Mrs. Rosalyn Folks was his second grade teacher and they continued to be close throughout the years,” said Sam. “We were all so saddened by her recent passing.”
Another teacher who influenced him greatly was Delta Baseball Coach Boo Ferriss. He encouraged him to get his Master’s degree.
Immersed in a career that has him flying all over the United States, Bob remains in touch with his hometown community.
“I was the manager for the baseball team at Delta,” Bob said. “I got the name “Pic” from some of the guys on the team because I was from Picayune. This is the name I am known by and a name I am very proud of because of what it represents— my hometown. If you were to ask someone in my company or who I know through association who Bob Billingsley is they could not tell you. They all know me by Pic and I would not want it any other way.
“There is not a Saturday that passes that I don’t read the Picayune Item and find out how the community and the Maroon Tide are doing. I have the issue where my dad was featured in Lifestyles on my desk.”