Thomas T. Irvin
Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame
In 1956, Thomas T. Irvin began his career in public service when he was elected to the Georgia General Assembly. Later, while serving as Gov. Lester Maddox's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Irvin was appointed Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture. He has successfully won re- election to this office for eight terms - the past 31 years.
His plan to eradicate hog cholera, which had reached almost epidemic proportions when he took office, was adopted as a national plan by USDA and led to the United States' being declared hog cholera free in 1978.
He is responsible for the establishment of the Department of Agriculture's first International Trade Section, which actively finds markets for and promotes the exportation of Georgia agricultural products throughout the world.
Other successful programs under his leadership include environmental safety programs, and the Boll Weevil Eradication Program.
Mr. Irvin is the only Georgian to have served as the president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and has been named Man of the Year in Agriculture by Progressive Farmer Magazine.