Walter B. Shaw, Sr.


Walter B. Shaw Sr. was born August 20, 1913, on a farm in Limestone County, Alabama. He has farmed since 1933, and continues to be active in the family farming business in Limestone County.

Shaw began his farming career as a sharecropper in 1933-35. His first land purchase, 40 acres, was in 1940, and he has continued to farm both owned and rented land since that time. The size of the operation has grown steadily, and now covers 645 acres owned and 2,500 acres of leased land. Enterprises in 1991 included 1,800 acres of cotton, 200 acres of soybeans, and 400 acres of set aside. The 10-year average yield has been 1,060 pounds of lint cotton, 45 bushels of soybeans, and 62 bushels of wheat. He also has produced vetch for seed, cotton, peonies, hogs, registered and grade cattle, and alfalfa.

As an early innovator, Shaw has worked closely with Tennessee Valley Substation and Extension Service personnel. He has been active in the Limestone County Cattlemen’s Association and Farm Bureau/Farmers Federation, Soybean Association, Feeder Pig Association, the American Hereford Association, and several cooperatives and other marketing associations.

Shaw received the Outstanding Farmer Award in 1965 from the Athens-Limestone County Chamber of Commerce and the Progress Through People Award by the Alabama Council of Farmer Cooperatives in 1988. He was named the Southeastern Cotton Farmer of the Year by “Cotton Farming” magazine in 1957.

Shaw is married to the former Sarah Frances Gilbert. They have three children, Walter B. Shaw Jr., James Gilbert Shaw, and Mary Frances Rodgers, and five grandchildren.