North Carolina Agricultural
Hall of Fame Inductees
Earl Baxter Garrett
1889 - 1982
Earl Baxter Garrett, the first State Conservationist of the Soil Conservation Service in North Carolina, will be remembered by those who had the privilege of working with him as a natural leader in agriculture. In 1937, Garrett was appointed State Conservationist, and in essence, launched a soil conservation movement in his state.
Before joining the ranks of the soil conservation Service, "Bull" Garrett served as an agriculturist with the Prudential Life Insurance Company and as the County Extension Agent in Guilford County.
After joining the Soil Conservation Service in 1935, he devoted his entire working life to improve soil conservation measures. Earl Garrett believed that North Carolina had much to gain through proper soil conservation practices, just as fellow Agricultural Hall of Fame member Hugh Bennett did on the national level, and both men devoted their lives to the improvement of agriculture.
In the 1930's, North Carolina farmland was in poor shape, suffering after continuous crops of cotton. Pasturelands and cover crops implemented by Garrett helped restore fertility and erosion control, ponds were dug for irrigation, and urban and rural landowners were educated on the benefits of soil conservation.
All these accomplishments were undertaken with a new staff on a new project…a tough project to successfully complete, but one which Garret undertook with drive and determination. Garrett inspired his professional employees, and the fruits of their labor soon became obvious with the improving tilth of North Carolina croplands.
He worked well with his colleagues in parallel services, from the agriculture professors and the land-grant universities to Department of Agriculture Officials, to Farm Bureau, Grange and other agribusiness groups.
In his chosen task of making North Carolina "conservation-minded," he met with few delays and few failures in his timetable for accomplishing his goals. And while Garret himself said, "The conservation job is never done, it is a continuous process," he made a material difference that can be readily seen today.
After retiring from the Soil Conservation Service in 1959, Garret continued to work for the conservation effort as long as his health permitted. And to insure that others would be able to work toward conservation, Earl and Blanch Garret contributed a cash gift to the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University in the amount of $25,000 to provide scholarships to deserving students.
The recipient of numerous honorary awards and degrees, Earl Baxter "Bull" Garret set the standard for others to follow. As a close friend said, "Mr. Garrett was known for his honesty, his dedication to Christian principals, his consideration of others and his diplomacy and leadership abilities. He was among those leaders who came along at a time when farsighted agricultural leadership was needed to move agriculture forward in North Carolina."
the North Carolina
AGRICULTURAL HALL OF FAME