FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, NOV. 10, 2009
Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
(919) 733-4216, ext. 242
Vernon James enshrined in Agricultural Hall of Fame
RALEIGH — The late Vernon James, a longtime farmer, legislator and advocate for agriculture, was enshrined in the N.C. Agricultural Hall of Fame today.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler presided over the ceremony at the Sen. Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center in Williamston.
“Vernon James was a passionate and loyal supporter of agriculture and the people who worked in it,” Troxler said. “He was especially loyal to our state’s 4-H organization, which remains a strong youth development program today.”
Born in 1910, James grew up on a farm in Pasquotank County and attended what is now N.C. State University. In 1931, he began operating a produce supply business. Later, he developed a trucking business, which he sold in 1958. That year, he organized the family farming corporation, which was known for its potatoes and cabbage.
James served 12 terms in the state House of Representatives, from 1945-47 and 1973-95. During his tenure, he served as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and on several agriculture-related study committees.
James was the recipient of many recognitions, including the Commissioner of Agriculture Award for Promotion of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables; Governor’s Award from the N.C. Agribusiness Council for Distinguished Service to Agribusiness; Award for Outstanding Contributions to the N.C. Soybean Association; and Farm Bureau Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture. A research and extension center in Plymouth is named for him.
James died in October 2002 at the age of 92.
The N.C. Agricultural Hall of Fame was created by the General Assembly in 1953 to honor North Carolinians who have rendered distinguished service in the science and art of agriculture. Candidates for the hall must be deceased at least one year before they are eligible for membership. James is the hall’s 35th member.