Marshall Grant, the cotton industry leader instrumental in energizing the southeast regional boll weevil eradication program effort, which was eventually expanded to every other cotton-producing state, has died.
The North Carolina farmer had the vision and understanding to realize the necessity of gaining collective support from each state to make the eradication program succeed.
“Dad always saw the bigger picture in everything he did,” says David Grant, Marshall’s son and a North Carolina cotton producer himself. “It’s clear to me and many other cotton producers that Dad’s tenacity, foresight, and confidence came along at the right time to help save the cotton industry in our state and all across the Cotton Belt.”
“Dad knew every farmer had to be on-board or the effort wouldn’t work,” says David Grant. “Unknowingly to him, it not only saved cotton production in the U.S., the program improved cotton’s overall environmental sustainability moving into the 21st century.”
Grant received the North Carolina Cotton Producers Association’s (NCCPA) inaugural “White Gold Award” in 2015. “We chose the name for this award because it reflects not only the importance cotton has played in the U.S. economy throughout history, but also to reflect the value level of achievement reached by the recipient,” says David Parrish, chief executive officer, NCCPA. “The name Marshall Grant will forever be associated with the success and impact the Boll Weevil Eradication Program made on our industry.”
Born in 1924, the seventh of eight children, Grant had 48 crops under his belt and harvested his last one when he was 70 years old. He survived World War II after serving in the rough terrain and rolling hills in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Libby Grant Scholarship Fund at Halifax Community College, in Weldon, N.C.
Marshall Grant was 95 years old.