Gene is a native of Washington County, Virginia. He grew up on a general livestock and tobacco farm. He participated in 4-H and FFA as a youth and became a 4-H All Star and received the FFA State Farm Degree. Gene attended and graduated from Holston High School and went on to graduate from VA Tech in 1983 with a B.S. in Animal Science. He worked 13 years with the USDA farm loan programs in Southwest VA. He worked 7 years as a loan officer in the Farm Credit system. The past 8 years he has worked for The First Bank and Trust Company as Regional Supervisor of the Ag Division covering Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.
Gene is still active in the family beef cattle farm with his Dad, Ernest, and his uncle, in Washington and Smyth Counties. He is past Chairman of the Virginia Cattle Foundation Board, past Vice President of the Smyth-Washington Cattle Association, and Treasurer of Patrick Henry Athletic Boosters. He also has served on the Boards of Southwest Virginia Agriculture Association, Southwest Virginia VA Tech Alumni Association, Washington County Fair and Agricultural committee of the American Bankers Association. He is presently President of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Treasurer of the Virginia Cattlemen's Association. Gene and his wife, Jodi, their three children, Bradley, Will and Jaymee live on their farm in Meadowview.