Brodie Harrell Scholarship endowed

Published 9:55 am Saturday, April 3, 2010

JACKSON — The agriculture community in Northampton County had a lot to celebrate Wednesday night.

Northampton County farmers gathered together at the Cultural and Wellness Center to observe Cooperative Extension’s Farm-City Week which recognizes the relationship between the agriculture and business.

But this year, there was something else to celebrate: the Brodie Harrell Endowment Fund being fully funded.

Two years after it was first initiated, the endowment has now surpassed the $25,000 needed to establish a principal fund. The endowment will provide scholarships to Northampton County students that are college bound.

The endowment is named after the late B.H. “Brodie” Harrell, a former agriculture extension agent who was known for his work in the county and throughout the state as well as his desire for the education of youth.

“I don’t know anything that would make him happier,” said Susan Harrell, Brodie’s wife, about the fund.

Mrs. Harrell encouraged those to give more to the endowment in order to continue her husband’s desire to educate young people.

“The larger the endowment the more it can give to children and that’s very important,” she said.

At the event, Northampton farmers were joined by local extension agents and staff and the Harrell family as well as officials from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service (NCCES) and Senator Ed Jones and Representative Michael Wray.

NCCES Executive Director of Development Sharon Rowland recalled a conversation she had with Mrs. Harrell before the program began.

“I told her because of this scholarship, everyone will remember Brodie, whether it’s 10, 20 or 50 years from now,” said Rowland. “Susan also shared with me tonight that Brodie would have like nothing better than to see the start of a scholarship for young people.”

Rowland begged to differ on the endowment being completed, instead she said it’s the beginning.

“It’s the beginning of the legacy for Brodie and for the family as the Harrell name continues,” she said. “It’s also the beginning for 4-H young people, and perhaps other young people in this community, who will have an opportunity to go to school to (seek a) higher education.”

Rowland added that it is also the beginning of the opportunity for others to contribute. With more contributions, Rowland noted it may open the possibility of more than one scholarship given out or even a renewable scholarship.

Dr. Marshall Stewart, NCCES Associate Director, Department Head and State Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development & Family Consumer Sciences, was the guest speaker of the event.

Stewart began by explaining how Farm-City Week got its start.

“Many years ago there was obviously a need, that somebody saw, to bring urban and rural people together to talk about ag-issues,” he said. “Over the years it’s been tradition in many communities to do this kind of thing.”

Marshall said he believes it’s important to take a moment and realize there are differences between the two communities.

“But we’re all people and we all have the same needs,” he said.

After reflecting on a couple of his own memories of farming, Marshall, who grew up in eastern North Carolina, said he is thankful for his agricultural roots.

“It taught me some values of hard work, what it meant not to know necessarily what the next day was going to be like,” he said.

Marshall noted that often times people think about the weather when thinking about farming and agriculture, but really government policy has about as much impact on farming than anything and everyone needed to think about those types of issues.

He continued that especially during this time, it’s easy for people to forget about those that work the land.

“It’s amazing what they do for us, and for those of you that are still active in that industry we say thank you for what you do,” he said.

Jack Parker, NCCES Regional Director of Development, spoke about the 4-H Enhancement Fund that has been established for the Northampton County 4-H Program. Parker said the fund will help support initiatives within the program.

“Having this extra money will enable them (Northampton 4-H Extension Agent Caroline Brown and 4-H Program Associate Ann Lawrence) to do more with 4-H,” he said.

The Northampton County Cooperative Extension Office can be reached at (252) 534-2711.