North Carolina cotton leader leaves legacy of learning

A North Carolina cotton producer and industry leader, Billy Carter passed away New Year’s Day 2011, but he left behind a legacy that today continues to improve tomorrow’s agricultural leaders.

North Carolina State University seniors Jennifer Evans and Cassandra Ingram never knew Billy Carter, but they have grown to appreciate what he did for agriculture, and what his scholarship has done for them.

A North Carolina cotton producer and industry leader, Carter passed away New Year’s Day 2011, but he left behind a legacy that today continues to improve tomorrow’s agricultural leaders through the Billy Carter Cotton Leadership Scholarship Endowment.

“I had the chance to meet Billy’s wife Beverly, their daughter, and several other family members at a NCSU scholarship recognition event, and after my conversations with them, it was clear how much impact Mr. Carter had on agriculture not only domestically, but internationally as well,” explains, High Point, North Carolina’s Cassandra Ingram.

Ingram, an Ag Business major, wants to return to her family’s farm where they grow strawberries, vegetables and raise goats.

“I might have to work evenings and on weekends until I save enough to start my own operation, but that’s my goal,” adds Ingram. She qualified for the scholarship through her leadership efforts by starting a 4-H Chapter in her community, and also by attending several 4-H Leadership Institutes. “I used the scholarship money to pay for my books that can get really expensive,” states Ingram.

Ayden, North Carolina resident, Jennifer Evans, an Animal Science major at NCSU, has already started a business, Southern Pearl Stables, LLC, where she teaches riding, trains as well as boards horses. “My dad grew up farming cotton, tobacco and a few other row crops, so it was really special when the Admissions Department under the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences informed me I had been awarded Mr. Carter’s scholarship,” remembers Evans. Minoring in Agri-Business, Evans will graduate this summer and plans to continue growing her horse business. “Footing the bill for college was up to me and this scholarship was invaluable as I worked my way toward my degree,” adds Evans.

The Billy Carter Cotton Leadership Scholarship was established in 2012 by Billy’s wife and their daughter, Beth Burchell, as a permanent endowment with the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc. In addition to the funding from Beverly and Beth, additional funding was made by the North Carolina Cotton Producers Association, and other friends of Billy Carter.

It is very appropriate that Billy’s legacy will forever be etched through an endowment that helps others who dedicate their life’s work to agriculture just as he did,” emphasizes David Parrish, CEO, North Carolina Cotton Producers Association.

“Cotton was Billy’s passion, and he always placed great importance on leadership, education, and giving his time to improve the overall competitive position of cotton for producers,” said Billy’s wife, Beverly Carter.

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