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UD has named its farm in Georgetown the Thurman G. Adams Agriculture Research Farm in honor of the late state legislator.

A cultivated legacy

Georgetown research farm named for late Senator Thurman Adams

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10:36 a.m., May 18, 2012--The late State Sen. Thurman Adams, Jr., of Bridgeville has often been called a champion of Delaware agriculture, both personally and professionally, for his advocacy during his 37 years in the State Senate. In honor of Sen. Adams and his legacy, the University of Delaware has named its research and education farm in Georgetown, Del., the Thurman G. Adams Agricultural Research Farm.

“Thurman Adams was simultaneously committed to preserving Delaware’s farm heritage and to ensuring that Delaware farmers were leaders in adopting new technologies,” said Robin Morgan, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “He cherished his friends and colleagues and was quick to credit them and recall their successes. Surely a giant in Delaware agriculture, he touched so many people across generations.”

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Lynn Adams Kokjohn, Polly Adams Mervine and other family and friends of Sen. Adams joined UD officials and state legislators on Tuesday, May 15, for the naming announcement at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, which Sen. Adams affectionately referred to as the “Substation.”

“This place [the Substation] had a special place in Thurman's heart,” said Mark Isaacs, director of the Carvel Research and Education Center, as he recalled the tireless efforts of Adams advocating for agriculture as well as the associated educational research component. “Sen. Adams was committed to making sure that the Substation had all the resources it needed to address the agricultural needs of Delaware. He stated time and time again, that his goal was for the substation to be the showcase for the east for research and Extension programs meeting the challenges for agriculture for years to come.” 

Adams was also a steadfast supporter of other programs, including the Cooperative Extension and Delaware 4-H.

“Agriculture was number one to him,” said Mervine, one of Sen. Adams’ daughters. “He absolutely would be thrilled about this but more thrilled to see how the agriculture community has moved forward with all the advances they are making.”

A resolution on the naming passed by the University's Board of Trustees at its recent spring meeting credits Sen. Adams for sponsoring “critical legislation to preserve Delaware’s farm heritage and strengthen the state’s agricultural economy.” 

Isaacs said that Sen. Adams' contributions in the Senate and Delaware accounts for millions of dollars of funding for the poultry industry, cooperative extension as well agricultural research and education at UD as well as other organizations. “Sen. Adams' support was critical in providing the facility and equipment needs of the Substation, as well as the staffing to make sure research and extension programs were cutting edge,” Isaacs said.

Sen. Adams earned his bachelor of science degree in agricultural education from UD in 1950, and joined his father in family farming and their grain brokerage business, T.G. Adams and Sons, Inc., of which he later served as longtime president. 

Article by Meredith Chapman

Video by Katy O’Connell and Bob DiIorio

Photos by Danielle Quigley

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