North Carolina Agricultural
Hall of Fame Inductees
HERMAN BROOKS JAMES
"I made the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes." These words are from a poem that H. Brooks James carried in his wallet, and they describe as nearly as words can the story of his life.
Born on a Stanley County farm, Dr. H.B. James was a college graduate at 19, a farm manager at 20, a vo-ag teacher at 21, assistant extension agent at 22, county agent at 23, farm management specialist at 27, specialist in charge at 33, department head at 38, director of instruction at 45, dean at 48, and university vice-president at 58. Along the way, he earned an M.S. degree at N.C. State, Ph.D. at Duke, and did post Doctoral work at the University of Chicago.
Although he rose to vice-presidency of the six-campus University of North Carolina, Dr. James is best known in the agricultural community for his exceptional work as dean of the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State. The school experienced one of the most dynamic decades in its history under his leadership. Student enrollment increased 250%, the experiment station budget increased 260%, and the extension service budget increased 190%. Four new departments were established and over $10 million was spent on the campus for new construction and several million more were spent on off-campus research facilities.
Brooks James was recognized within the state for his many contributions to agriculture. The Progressive Farmer named him "Man of the Year in Service to Agriculture" in 1961. The North Carolina State Grange named Dr. James "Grange Man of the Year for 1966." Lieutenant Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., said in 1973, " I was fortunate to have been a student of Dr. James. He was one of the greatest leaders North Carolina State University has ever had. He did so much to inspire and open up opportunities for our rural people."
H. Brooks James was also a familiar name in national and international agriculture circles. He was a visiting lecturer at Harvard Univeristy, the University of Connecticut, the University of Georgia, and the University of Arkansas. He was an agricultural economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Agricultural Economics in the Southern Region; member of the National Agricultural Research Advisory Committee; member of the Advisory Board of the National Agricultural Extension Center for Advanced Study in Wisconsin; chairman of the Southern Regional Education Board's Council on Graduate Education in Agricultural Sciences; assistant administrator of the Agency for International Development (AID) in Washinton, DC; consultant to AID Missions in Peru, Nicaragua, Laos, and Tunisia; and advisor on agricultural policy to the Committee for Economic Development.
Dr. James served as a leader in developing statewide agricultural programs; the Agricultural Program of 1948, the Challenge Program of 1951, and Governor Sanford's Agricultural Opportunities in 1961.
Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman said of Brooks James in 1964, "You have been selected (as a member of the National Agricultural Research Advisory Committee) because you are nationally recognized by your associates as a leader widely conversant with the contributions which research can make to the solution of problems faced by producers, processors, distributors, and consumers of agricultural products."
the North Carolina
AGRICULTURAL HALL OF FAME