Academics

Charles H. Burton, Sr.

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 Charles H. Burton, Sr.

 

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A native of Carter, Mississippi in Yazoo County, he received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Alcorn State University (formerly Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College) in 1933. He did further study at the University of Illinois, Prairie View A & M College and Mississippi State University.  Mr. Burton was hired by the State of Mississippi in 1940 as the first African-American county agent in Greenville, Mississippi. He became an associate county agent when the local extension program became integrated, and later worked as a vocational agricultural instructor in Sunflower County for seven years.   

 

Throughout his career, Mr. Burton received numerous awards and recognitions for his many contributions to agriculture throughout the state of Mississippi and abroad, including the Superior Service Award from the United States Department of Agriculture from then Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson in 1955 being the one of only five blacks that year employed with the United States Department of Agriculture for outstanding job performance. County Agent of the Year, Taborian Man of the Year and served on the White House Youth Conference. He was honored as Alcornite of the Year in 1960.

In addition, Mr. Burton organized and started the Delta Field Day at Stoneville, MS in the 1940s to host negro farmers and introduce them to the latest methods and techniques in farming and agriculture. The Delta Field Day still remains an annual event today. In 1956, he was chosen by the USDA to do a two year deployment to Africa to teach the latest agricultural developments to the African Farmer in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa. He was married to Bessye L. Burton, a graduate of Rust College. Mr. Burton died September 30, 1969.