Biography:

Personal History

  • Born August 13, 1955 to Benjamin D. Forrest, Jr. and Ernestine Hardee Forrest
  • Attended Chicod School and graduated from D. H. Conley High School
  • Attended and graduated from North Carolina State University, B.S & M.Ed in Agricultural Education
  • Married to former Pamela Jane Beaver
  • Received Education Administration and Supervision Certificate and Vocational Director Certification from East Carolina University
  • Life-long resident of the Black Jack community

Professional History

  • Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor at Washington High School, 1977-1995
  • Eastern Region Agricultural Education Coordinator, 1996-present
  • Manager and Co-owner of B.D. ForrestFamily Farms, LLC
  • Owner of Benjie ForrestFarms, LLC

Professional Awards & Memberships

  • Outstanding Senior, Agricultural Education, NCSU
  • Greenhorn Degree, North Carolina Vocational Association
  • Young Teacher Award, North Carolina Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (NCVATA)
  • Outstanding Service, NCVATA
  • 100% Membership Award, NCVATA
  • Gold plate, NCVATA for Outstanding Leadership
  • Outstanding Leadership, NCSU, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Professional State Association Award, National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association
  • Pride of the Wolfpack Award for outstanding services to Agricultural Education, NCSU
  • Member of Association of Career-Technical Educators
  • Member of North Carolina Agriculture Teachers Association
  • Member of National Association of Supervisors and Agricultural Education
  • Member of National Association of Agricultural Educators

Civic & Community Involvement

  • Member of Blackjack OFWB Church and serve as Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, Past and Current Chairman of the General Board and past Sunday School Superintendent.
  • Member of Grimesland Masonic Lodge #475 and serve as Past Master, Past Secretary and Past District Grand Master
  • Member of Pitt County FFA Alumni and serve as Secretary
  • Past Member of Community Fellowship Club in the Grimesland community
  • Past member of the Blackjack Volunteer Fire Department and current trustee
  • Past Chairman of Pitt County Planning Board
  • Past Member of Pitt County Board of Adjustment
  • Past Member of Big Swamp Ruritan Club
  • Member of Greenville York Rite Bodies
  • Member of North Carolina Grange
  • Member and Board of Director of Pitt County Farm Bureau
  • Past Member of Pitt-Beaufort Selective Service Board
  • Member of Board of Trustees of University of Mount Olive
  • Member of Board of Directors and Chairman of the Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience (NERSBA)
  • Member of Pitt County Board of Education and served as Past Chairman of the Board and Past Chairman of the Finance Committee
  • Member and Board of Director of the Southeast Drainage Corporation and Chairman of Drainage District #9

Past Board of Education Experience

“Expanding opportunities for all Pitt County students” has been the focus of my 12 years of service on the Pitt County Board of Education. It has been an honor to serve the families of Pitt County. Specifically, I have:

  • Served as chairman of the Board as well as Chairman of the Pitt County Schools Finance Committee and led our system in identifying innovative funding sources which have allowed Pitt County to retain its teachers and teacher assistants during an economic recession when many surrounding counties have had reductions in staff.
  • Been a strong proponent of the Bio-Diesels for Schools Program, which has created a 30 to 40 thousand-dollar annual windfall for Pitt County Schools from recycled restaurant cooking oils.
  • Worked in partnership with Pitt County Commissioners for the benefit of children by achieving the necessary upgrading of county school buildings and Improvement of infrastructure with an emphasis on planning for future generations as well as working to provide a 10% local supplement for teachers.
  • Worked with other school board members to streamline office personnel, hire and keep Dr. Ethan Lenker as superintendent, and achieve unitary status for Pitt County.
  • Returned all emails and phone calls in a very timely manner.
  • Worked to lower the drop-out rate and increase graduation rates.
  • Helped to expand career technical education and prioritized more hands-on learning for students.
  • Served, along with the superintendent, as Pitt County’s representative for the North Eastern Region School of Biotechnology and Agriscience, an experimental educational program open to students in five counties including Pitt.
  • Supported and helped to pass a policy providing for a moment of silence for all our students, teachers, and staff.
  • Provided leadership to maneuver our school system through the challenges presented by the Covid 19 pandemic.