Anson Natives Inducted Into Family & Consumer Sciences Hall of Fame
By Abby Cavenaugh, Editor, The Anson Record
Two influential Anson County natives were inducted in to the Family & Consumer Sciences Hall of Fame on May 25 — the late Rosalind Redfearn and Ada Dalla-Pozza.
Redfearn was a trailblazer for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service’s Family & Consumer Sciences program, originally known as the home demonstration program. “Born in 1882, Miss Rosalind (as she was affectionately known for generations by everyone, both black and white) came to work for Extension when she was 31 years old,” reads a history on Redfearn provided by the Anson County Cooperative Extension Service. “Her father, Dr. W.J. McLendon, was the first County Agent in Anson County, having been hired by the Anson County commissioners in 1908. He was followed by Mr. J.W. Cameron in 1911, who in turn hired Mrs. Rosalind in 1913.”
Redfearn was Anson County’s first home demonstration agent and served as such for 35 years, (1913-1948). “A working mother, she was known to bundle up her children and take them with her when she made visits out in the county,” the history reads. “In the early days, four footed horsepower was the means of transportation, so Miss Rosalind traveled the county with her own horse and buggy, teaching girls and ladies everything from canning and leveling a skirt, to cooking a whole chicken in a fireless cooker. She traveled to the farthest regions of the county, sometimes necessitating an overnight stay, which farm families were more than happy to provide to their Home Agent.”
She also started the first girls’ tomato clubs in Anson County, of which Dalla-Pozza was a member, and by 1927, she had created 10 home demonstration clubs in the county. In 1921, she organized the first Women’s Curb Market in Anson County, the precursor to today’s farmer’s markets, giving rural families an opportunity to sell produce, livestock and other goods.
By 1940, thanks to Redfearn, almost 900 families in Anson County marketed hens, broilers, eggs and turkeys cooperatively and shipped 70,000 pounds of turkey, according to a press release from N.C. State University. “By the time she retired, Redfearn and her business partner, county farm agent J.W. Cameron, had developed a turkey-raising industry in Anson County that brought in nearly $300,000 annually and established poultry, eggs and turkeys among the county’s main cash crops,” the press release states.
“The annual $300,000 annually that poultry generated in 1940 would be worth over $2.7 million yearly today,” said Anson County Cooperative Extension director Janine Rywak. “She was amazing!”
Redfearn was the first president of the Home Demonstration Agents Association and was named “Woman of the Year” by Progressive Farmer magazine in 1948, among many other awards and honors. She passed away in December 1957.
Like Redfearn, Ada Dalla-Pozza, formerly Ada Braswell, was born in Anson County, but now resides in Cary. She has been active in the Cooperative Extension program for more than 70 years. After graduating from Woman’s College in Greensboro (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) in 1943, she became the youngest Cooperative Extension agent in the state.
“Dalla-Pozza served as assistant state home economics leader and provided leadership to the North Carolina Extension Homemakers’ Organization (now North Carolina Extension and Community Association),” a press release states. “She started the organization’s internship program and led efforts to preserve and send food to soldiers overseas. Dalla-Pozza also worked with Extension Homemakers to shape state and local policy to support families across North Carolina.”
Redfearn and Dalla-Pozza were two of 25 that were inducted in to the Family & Consumer Sciences Hall of Fame.
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