North Carolina Agricultural
Hall of Fame Inductees
BENJAMIN WESLEY KILGORE
March 27, 1867 - December 27, 1943
Quiet, modest, competent - a man of vision with the consistent ability to achieve worthwhile goals - this was Benjamin Wesley Kilgore. Born in Mississippi and reared on a cotton farm, he received both his B.S. in Science and M.A. in Chemistry from Mississippi A and M College. In 1899 he came to North Carolina as State Chemist and for 44 years served his adopted state and the nation so effectively that he become known throughout the South as its greatest agricultural scientist.
He served as Director of the North Carolina Experiment Station, as first director of the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service after passage of the Smith-Lever Act and as Dean of Agriculture at North Carolina State College. Dr. Kilgore founded Pine State Creamery in 1919. So great were his capabilities that he was prevailed upon, when well past the age of 70, to return as State Chemist. This he did, serving principally as consultant. He served as the first legislative representative of the N.C. State Grange. He helped organize The Progressive Farmer and was a director of the magazine for 42 years. He was active in founding the Southern Agricultural Workers Association; and advocating cooperative movements, he served as president both of the North Carolina and American Cotton Growers Exchanges. Davidson College and North Carolina State College awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Science. Kilgore Hall on the North Carolina State Campus is named in his honor.
Never a man of great physical stamina, nonetheless Dr. Kilgore used skill and brain power to spark significant rural progress.
AGRICULTURAL HALL OF FAME