Eight stalwarts of agriculture and forestry in West Virginia will be honored with a place in the states Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at West Virginia Universitys Jacksons Mill.
Those being inducted are: James Dearing, the late E.E. John Hott, Norman Jackson, the late Asher W. Kelly Jr., the late Lester McClung, the late George Anderson Myles, the late John B. Peters and Earl Tryon.
Enshrinement in the hall is reserved for those individuals and organizations that have best advanced West Virginias agricultural, forestry and family life.
Dearing, of Huntington, is widely regarded as a champion of proper forest management who is committed to the sustainability of West Virginias forest resources.
He has had a long and varied career in the wood industry, working as a lumber grader, mill manager, buyer, flooring plant manager, veneer procurement manager, timber procurement manager and operations manager.
He is currently a vice president of operations for the Jim C. Hamer Co., overseeing hundreds of acres and directing a team of foresters.
Hott was a successful entrepreneur described asa true pioneer and visionaryin the fields of farming and agribusiness.
He used the latest technologies in production and distribution to become a leader in the poultry industry, and also launched his own feed mill and other spin-off businesses.
He built the first large commercial poultry house in West Virginia, and expanded the enterprise to include hogs and cattle. He died in 2001.
Jackson ,* of Florence, Ky., spent 30 years as an educator in WVU s Division of Forestry, teaching a full range of courses, authoring several research publications and providing key administrative support of the division.
He helped production facilities across the region meet OSHA standards, while also helping lead the annual Forest Industries camp for high school students.
He was also a consultant to forest technology associate degree programs at Glenville State College and Alleghany Community College, in Maryland. He was associate dean of academic affairs at what is now WVU s Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences.
*Kelly, a longtime Division of Forestry employee, was known for his professional response to the spate of wildfires that ravaged West Virginia through the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
He initiated fire control agreements with large landowners across the state to promote fire suppression programs and also established the states fire warden system.
He was a district and state forester, and an assistant state forester for fire control. He also filled a term as Executive Secretary of the West Virginia Forestry Council and Assistant Commissioner with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. He died in 1991.
McClung began his state Division of Forestry career as superintendent of the Panther State Forest, and also worked as a district forester, assistant state forester for fire control and state forester.
He was a visiting committee member to WVU s Division of Forestry, chaired the state Forestry Planning Committee and was secretary of the National Association of State Foresters.
He won a Distinguished West Virginian Award and was also honored by the Forest Farmers Association, WV Forests Inc., and the U.S. Forest Service. The West Virginia Wildlife Federation named him aForester of the Year.He died in 2001.
Myles was a forester, business and conservationist known for his promotion and support of the states forest industry.
He was a founding member of the West Virginia Sawmill Operators Association and educated large private landowners on ways to protect and manage their timber resources. He helped launch Myles Lumber Co., of Elkins and W.M. Cramer Lumber Co., of Marlinton.
He received an Outstanding Alumnus Award from WVU s Division of Forestry in 1984 and helped create scholarships through the WVU Forestry Endowment Fund. He died in 1999.
Peters was an animal scientist and livestock specialist with the WVU Extension Service who came to West Virginia in 1971 to work on the field team of WVU s Allegheny Highlands Project.
He taught West Virginia cattle and sheep growers all facets of the business, from the introduction of artificial insemination and crossbreeding to the importance of proper records keeping and feed cost management.
He also served as secretary and treasurer of the West Virginia Cattlemens Association. He died in 1980.
Tryon, of St. Louis, has written and contributed to more than 100 publications dealing with West Virginias forest ecology, forest management and silviculture, the art and science of growing forest trees.
The former WVU silviculture professor has long been praised by his excellence in the classroom and as a mentor. He has also been active in several professional organizations, and is a past chair of the Allegheny Section of the Society for American Foresters.
He was honored with the rank of Fellow by the Society of American Foresters and received a Senior Faculty Certificate of Merit from Gamma Sigma Delta.
Tickets, priced at $30 each, may be purchased from the following (all phone numbers carry the 304 area code):
- Brenda Aldridge, WVU Extension, 293-5691.
- Sherry Barnette, West Virginia Forestry Association, 372-1955.
- Randy Dye, West Virginia Division of Forestry, 558-2788.
- Robin Gothard, West Virginia Department of Agriculture, 558-3000.
- Denise Hunnell, WVU Davis College, 293-2395.
- Bob Williams, West Virginia Farm Bureau, 472-2080.