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North Carolina Agricultural
Hall of Fame Inductees

1923 - 1991

"First the Seed" is the motto that guided Foil McLaughlin's professional life. His career was devoted to helping assure that all seed users had the best seed products available that science and quality control programs could provide.

Foil was born and reared in Rowan County. He received BS and MS degrees in agronomony from North Carolina State University. His professional career was spent with the N.C. Crop Improvement Association at NCSU beginning in 1948. He become its director is 1962 and attained the rank of full professor with the university in 1968. In 1981 he was appointed executive vice president of the Association of Official Feed Certifying Agencies.

Foil's influence on the seed agency was felt internationally. He directed seed certification in North Carolina during a rapid growth period. A seed production period based on local marketing has changed toward larger producers operating in multi-state trading areas. Foil constantly worked to ensure that seed could move easily between the states. He was influential in writing the United States Plant Variety Protection Act and amendments to the Federal Seed Act which were enacted in 1970. These laws provide for the protection of intellectual property rights for developers of new varieties of sexually propagated plants. This has spurred tremendous private industry investment in plant variety development. The nation's farmers, garners and homeowners continue to realize the benefits from this effort. He was also instrumental in getting these provisions included in the N.C. Seed Law.

Foil served on numerous committees with state and national seed industry organization including American Seed Trade Association's Intellectual property rights Committee. He was a member of the public relations and good seed promotion committees of the N.C. Seedman's Association. On two occasions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service selected Foil as one of the three-member seed industry team to visit Australia, New Zealand and the European Common Market counties. The purpose of these visits was to compare programs and help ease restrictions on seed movement between countries.

Foil is the only person, who was not an employee of a seed company, to have been selected in 1981 as Honorary Seedsman of the Year by the American Seed Trade Association. Foil's contributions to the seed industry and agriculture were recognized as he was named Man of the Year or Honorary Seedsman by the N.C. Seedsmen's Association, N.C. Crop Improvement Association, Progressive Farmer magazine, Southern Seedsmen's Association, Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies, and N.C. State Grange. He was awarded the highest honorary degree of both state and national Future Farmers of America.

Foil William McLaughlin will be remembered as a man whose vision and leadership continues to have a positive affect on agricultural crop production in North Carolina and the nation.

Elected to the
North Carolina

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