A native of Louisville, Mississippi in Winston County, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from Alcorn State University (formerly Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College) in 1970. He received a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton, Ohio in 2006.
Cole’s professional career expands 46 years beginning in Mississippi working with the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service as the first black of 14 nationally trained for a management position and after the training in 1971, becoming a County Operations Reviewer for the Mississippi State ASCS office.
In 1972, he began his career in the state of Ohio with the United States Department of Agriculture spanned over 33 years serving in various roles as the Franklin County Executive Director, District Director, Chief Specialist for Conservation and Price Support Loan Programs. He retired from the USDA on August 3, 2003.
Since 2004, Mr. Cole works as an educator with the Columbus City Schools. His famous quote to students is “The seven P’s Proper Preparation and Planning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance.”
Throughout his career, Mr. Cole has received numerous awards, recognitions and special recognitions. He was appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture as Acting State Executive Director of the Ohio State Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office in 2001, National President of the Organization of Professional Employees of the United States Department of Agriculture for nine years, appointed by former Ohio Governor, Ted Strickland, to the first statewide-voter-approved and legislated board for humane livestock and poultry care in the United States, the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, and in January, 2015, Mr. Cole was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Ohio State FSA Committee/United States Department of Agriculture. He was reappointed to serve January, 2016.
Mr. Cole is a member of professional and social organizations including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., National Association of Farmer Elected Committeemen in FSA and Lions Club International.
He is married to the former Jewell Hutchins and they have been instrumental in obtaining a charter for the newly-chartered Columbus (Ohio) Metro-Area Chapter of Alcorn State University Alumni Association.