Speech by Clarence Poe (editor, Progressive Farmer)
(recollection of North Carolina agriculture around 1900; given at the dedication of Kilgore Hall)
The outlook for North Carolina agriculture was certainly not good in the first half of 1899 when Dr. Kilgore came back, nor in the latter half when I became editor of the Progressive Farmer. North Carolina at that time was still called 'The Rip Van Winkle State' it had so long been asleep, and some punster has said that if Resurrection Day had come and North Carolina had heard the call to 'Come forth,' it would have come fifth. Even a distinguished and brilliant President of State College, Dr. George T. Winston, publicly declared in substance that as he could see no real future for North Carolina as an agricultural state we should concentrate on its industrial development. Ten times more people farmed by the moon's phases than farmed by our agricultural colleges.