Small Farms Resources at NC A&T State University

Celebration of Second Morrill Act’s 125th amping up

The SAES family will gather at the Revolution Mill Events Center (off Yanceyville, south of Cornwallis) at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, for a Recognition and Awards Luncheon that is part of a series of events and activities commemorating the 125 anniversary of the Second Morrill Act, which, in 1890, set the foundation for A&T and the other 18 land grants that are known as "the 1890s."

At the luncheon, the late Dr. Sidney H. Evans Sr. and the late Dr. Howard F. Robinson will be officially recognized as SAES Pioneers for contributions to the 1890 land-grant system. Evans chaired several academic departments and directed many programs during his 33 years at A&T. At his retirement in 1989, he was associate dean for agricultural research. Robinson became chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics in 1957 and also served as director of the Office of Research Administration and several other offices at A&T.

Also at the Luncheon, Dr. Daniel D. Godfrey and Dr. Arthur P. Bell are to be recognized as Legends who significantly moved research and Extension in the SAES forward to national prominence. Bell graduated from A&T with honors in 1948, joined the A&T faculty with a doctorate from Penn State in 1954 and was chair of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education at his retirement in 1994. Godfrey was administrator of the A&T Cooperative Extension Program and he served as dean of the SAES from 1994 to 2001. He has been inducted into USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Hall of Fame, and the George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame at Tuskegee University.

A third pair of recognitions will go to Dr. Thelma J. Feaster and Dr. Willie L. Willis for their leadership in innovative advances in the food, agricultural, environmental and human sciences in the SAES. Feaster began a 40-year Extension career as an assistant Extension agent in southeastern North Carolina and went on the to serve as interim administrator for the Cooperative Extension Program at A&T. She contributed to such signature A&T Extension programs as "Project Eat Right: Add to Life" and "Partners-In-Learning." Willis was one of the few African American poultry scientists in the nation during his career at A&T (1984 to 2013). He brought in more than $2.5 million dollars in funding from both government and the private sector; has scores of presentations and peer-reviewed publications; and mentored 11 master’s students through completion of their theses.

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