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North Carolina Agricultural
Hall of Fame Inductees


ROBERT FLAKE SHAW
February 8, 1889 - November 9, 1957

R. Flake Shaw assumed direction of a fledgling North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation and built it into one of the State's most powerful farm voices. Orphaned at the age of six months, he spent his childhood working as a field hand for the princely sum of thirty cents a day. He was deprived of formal schooling except for an eight-month period. At an early age he acquired a small, heavily-mortgaged farm and developed it into a Grade "A" dairying operation.

In 1928 this exceptional man was elected to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners where he served for 12 years. His public service also included appointment to various farm rehabilitation committees following the 1930s depression. He became Executive Vice President of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation in 1940 when the four-year-old organization was in financial difficulty and listed a membership of only 1,726 families from six counties. Mr. Shaw stumped the Senate urging rural people to join the Bureau and so achieve a better standard of living. Within eight years the organization's rolls boasted 71,000 families. During his Farm Bureau years he served on the Bank of Greensboro board of directors and on the District Federal Reserve Board.

Many honors were conferred upon him including the title of Master Farmer and Agricultural Man of the Year in North Carolina. In his role as a farm leader he traveled extensively and ultimately visited most of the European countries. He served in 1954 as a Farm Bureau delegate to the International Federation of Agricultural Producers Conference in British East Africa. Mr. Shaw can well be termed an Horatio Alger of the farm world.

Elected to
the
North Carolina
AGRICULTURAL HALL OF FAME
1966

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
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