February 28, 1953
The nation’s first black agriculture extension agent, Thomas Monroe Campbell, retired from the USDA after 47 years of service. A student of George Washington Carver at the Tuskegee Institute, Campbell managed projects such as Tuskegee’s Movable School of Agriculture to improve the economic conditions of black farmers throughout the South. Campbell worked through both world wars and the Great Depression, often rejecting college administrative positions and fellowships to stay with the extension service. In 1930, Campbell won the first and only Harmon Award presented for distinguished achievement in the field of farming and rural life.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.