What They're Saying
Posted November 21, 2003
RALEIGH, N.C. — Here is what people had to say about the death of former Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham:
"No one had a stronger passion for agriculture in our state than Commissioner Graham. He just had a great respect and love for our rural communities and the folks who produce our food and fiber."
-- State Sen. Charlie Albertson, D-Duplin, chairman of the Senate agriculture committee
"During Jim Graham's 36 years as state agriculture commissioner, he witnessed vast changes in our state's agriculture industry, but one thing never changed: his devotion to North Carolina's farmers and his tireless efforts to promote North Carolina's crops. He was the consummate public servant, a true statesman, and friend to everyone."
-- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C.
"We have lost one of our most dedicated public servants who will always be valued for his compassion and hard work. The Commissioner will forever be remembered and respected as a champion of agriculture with a burning desire to make life better for all people of North Carolina. He was my friend and a tough but gentle man."
-- Gov. Mike Easley.
"Jim was an advocate for farmers and never missed an opportunity to remind people how many hogs, turkeys or sweet potatoes our state produces. North Carolina has lost a wonderful state servant. He will be missed, but will live in my heart forever."
-- Former Gov. Jim Hunt, who worked with Graham during his 16 years as governor.
"When Commissioner Graham gave his word, the farmer could take it to the bank."
-- North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten
"He always said he loved his job. But far beyond that, he loved people, and it showed in all that he did."
-- State Auditor Ralph Campbell.
"His hard work and lifelong commitment to making our state a better place to live made him a model for public service in North Carolina and the nation."
-- U.S. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.
"In recent months as his health worsened, I realized how he would be missed when the inevitable happened. I miss Jim already, as will countless others."
-- Former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.
"Today, North Carolina lost a giant among men and a giant among farmers, and I have lost a dear friend."
-- U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-N.C., a member of the House Agriculture Committee.
"North Carolina has lost one of our foremost public servants today. We will all sorely miss his wit, wisdom and commitment to a better North Carolina."
-- U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C.
"Commissioner Graham's death is a great loss to North Carolina. It truly marks the end of an era. He made remarkable contributions to agriculture in our state and was the farmer's friend to the very end."
-- Meg Scott Phipps, Graham's successor as commissioner, who resigned this year in the wake of a campaign finance scandal.