Born in Chilton County, Van Smith received his bachelor’s degree in agriscience education from Auburn University and his master’s degree in agriscience education from Alabama A&M University. He received his certification in administrative education from the University of Montevallo.
He has served as an Autauga County Commissioner for the past five years. In nearly four decades in education, Smith worked 13 years as a vocational education teacher, eight years as assistant principal, and 16 years as principal of Billingsley School. After retirement in 2013, he became a full-time farmer raising cattle, hay and timber.