A native of Carthage, Mississippi in Leake County, received his Bachelor of Science degree from Alcorn State University (formerly Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College) in Agriculture Education in 1968.

Shell’s professional career expands over 40 years with the United States Department of Agriculture- Rural Development (formerly Farmers Home Administration) in various capacities, Assistant County Agent, Assistant County Supervisor, County Supervisor, Assistant District Director, District Loan Specialist, Acting State Director and Area Director. He retired on December 31, 2010 after nearly 42.5 years of service.

Throughout his career, he received numerous professional awards and recognitions for his work with the USDA, including Certificate of Merit, Certificate of Outstanding Accomplishment, and Employee of Year Award in 1989, 1992 and 2008. He is a proud supporter of the Alcorn State University National Alumni Association and Carroll-Montgomery-Grenada County Alumni Chapter.

As a result of his work with Rural Development, he was instrumental in helping families, farmers and communities improve the quality of life through homeownership, economic development and community stability. He, also, provided technical assistance and training to underserved populations.

He is married to the former Earnestine Phelps, ’70.