John T. “Tom” Ingram
John T. (Tom) Ingram, a native of Lee County, graduated from Auburn University in 1950 with a degree in agricultural education. He has farmed cotton in the Marvyn community for more than 50 years, starting his farming career in 1946 just after he returned from World War II.
Ingram is known as an innovative agriculturalist who was one of the first farmers in Alabama to use the minimum tillage farming practices, which conserve moisture and soil and reduce the use of chemicals. He adopted a strip tillage method on his 600 acres of cotton and developed his own strip till cultivator, a shielded sprayer, and a mechanical weed knock-down device with a sprayer attachment to use on his farm. He also began trapping for boll weevils in the late 1970s and continued his own trapping until the Boll Weevil Eradication Program began in 1987, encouraging his neighbors to do the same.
Ingram is known not only for finding ways to farm more efficiently, but also for farming in ways that protect the soil, water, and overall environment. In addition, he has helped other farmers learn more about better production practices by serving as chairman of the Lee County Farmers Federation Committee for more than 50 years and serving on the Alabama Cotton Commission. He also is a producer delegate to the National Cotton Council of America, and is a member of the Alabama Farmers Federation state board and its cotton committee and is a member of the Southeast Cotton Growers board of directors. He is currently serving as president of the Lee County Farmers Federation, a position he has held for 18 years, and is a charter life member of the AU Ag Alumni Association.
He has won many awards for his efforts, including the Outstanding Conservation Tillage Farmer of Macon County in 1985, the District IV Soil Conservationist Award in 1992, the 2000 High Cotton Award for the Southeast from “Southeast Farm Press” publication, the Outstanding Business and Industry Representative for Agribusiness Education from 1988-89 and the Lee County Farm of Distinction Award in 1996. He also has been featured in “Neighbors”, “The Progressive Farmer”, “Southeast Farm Press”, and “Farm Journal” publications and has traveled abroad to learn more about farming in other countries.
A veteran of World War II, Ingram served in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and Czechoslovakia and was in Patton’s Third Army, 90th Infantry Division. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge and is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, three Bronze stars for the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign and the WWII Victory Medal. He also is a charter member of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.