North Carolina Agricultural
Hall of Fame Inductees
LEARY RHINEHART HARRILL
1897 - 1978
L.R. Harrill once said, "It's a great thing to produce a Grand Champion 4-H steer, but unless you do something to produce a grand champion biy or girl, you have failed in your greatest responsibility."
L.R. helped boys and girls develop many a grand champion steer. And throughout his 37-year career as a pioneer in youth agricultural education and leadership, his work helped produce many grand champion boys and girls.
L.R. organized 4-H work and play throughout the state, enrolling and motivating more than 3 million young people; directed 4-H'ers onto higher education; contributed to the changing economic profile of North Carolina with a program to improve agricultural production records and rural living conditions; and guided the successful rural movement into an urban phase during the decade of his retirement.
His legacy reaps immeasurable benefits for the rural and urban people of this great state. Those members he and his agents cultivated grew in to men and women whose own children joined 4-H and who became adult volunteers for club functions and planning.
As the first state 4-H leader, his philosophy in developing a statewide program was to move slowly in order to grow soundly. From an initial four counties in 1926, he developed a statewide 4-H program by 1939.
His mission became international as the USDA asked him to visit Australia, where he introduced the essence of 4-H movement, and when his "North Carolina 4-H Leaders Handbook" was translated into German.
Over the years, L.R. received awards from such organization as National 4-h Camp, State 4-H Leaders, USDA, N.C. Farm Bureau, N.C. General Assembly, N.C. Wildlife Federation and from his alma mater, the NCSU Watuaga Medal, its highest, non-academic award. The L.R. Harrill 4-H Scholarship Endowment was established in 1963, and the Youth Center at the N.C. State Fairgrounds is named for him.
He is survived by Laura Weatherspoon Harrill, one son and five grandchildren. One daughter died recently.
the North Carolina
AGRICULTURAL HALL OF FAME