West Lafayette, IN
Bill McVay was a high school agricultural science and business teacher for 34 years, 31 of which were on the faculty of South Whitley High School. A graduate of Camden High School, Mc Vay received his B.S. in Agricultural Education from Purdue in 1953. After teaching two years in the Washington Township schools in Whitley County, he returned to Purdue and received his M.S. in Agricultural Education in 1956.
After completing his master’s degree, McVay taught at Swayzee for one year before beginning his career at South Whitley where he would influence two generations of students. In the early days he taught farm management and record keeping to adult farmers in the area and was the township’s only 4-H club leader. He was a leader in training agriculturalists to keep and analyze farm records. As a vocational agricultural teacher and FFA advisor, he was advisor to 4 Indiana State FFA Officers, 6 National FFA Degree and 91 State FFA Degree winners. He coached 7 state winning Livestock Career Development Event (CDE) teams and 5 state winning Dairy CDE teams. He coached 5 state winning Farm Business Management Teams, including the National Championship Team in 1978. McVay authored the Indiana FFA Farm Management curriculum and the Indiana FFA Farm Business Management CDE, and is the co-author of a high school farm management textbook. As one nominator said, “He was the standard in agriculture education in Indiana during the 1970’s and 80’s.”
McVay was tireless in his service to agriculture and the teaching profession beyond the classroom. He has been a farm manager since 1986. A member of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE); Indiana Association of Agricultural Educators (IAAE); Indiana Vocational Association (IVA); and the American Vocational Association (AVA), McVay served two years as a state officer of IAAE. He served as a member of the Indiana State Fair Board of Directors for two years where he was in charge of the Swine Barn, and he served on the Indiana Commission of Farm Animal Care. McVay was president of the Purdue University Expert Swine Judging School, a member of the Purdue University Livestock Judging Council, and served as show manager of the Hoosier Barrow Show for four years. McVay also served on thirteen state Agricultural Science and Business committees, judged at 36 county fairs, published three articles in Agricultural Education Magazine, and taught two graduate courses at Purdue. He was on the board of the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association for ten years (1985-95), and served on the selection committee for Purdue’s Marquardt Scholarship.
In his local community, McVay’s service included 42 years as a member of the Lions Club, including two terms as club president; 25 years as a 4-H leader/coordinator; member and president of the Whitley County Extension Board, and charter member and organizer of the Whitley County Pork Producers. He has been active in the Lutheran Church, teaching Sunday School for 15 years and serving his local congregation as President, Vice-President, Secretary and Elder.
McVay’s awards and accolades are as numerous as his activities. He was named Citizen of the Year by the South Whitley Chamber of Commerce; received the V.I.P. award from the Indiana FFA Foundation; and the Block and Bridle Royal award. He was recognized by the Indiana Department of Education with a Certificate of Award, was named Outstanding Secondary Educator, and in 1983 was a finalist for Indiana Teacher of the Year. In 1986 he was one of four National Agricultural Teachers of the Year.