From the Charlotte Observer, published Dec. 17, 1938
“Better times came to Union County along with Tom Broom,” declared Rowland Beasley, speaking here last night at a banquet in honor of Union County’s veteran farm agent, held in the dining room of the Marshville High school, when agricultural leaders of State College, farm agents of the surrounding counties, farmers and businessmen celebrated the 24th anniversary of the introduction of lespedeza into the county.
“Mr. Broom is one of the most remarkable men I have ever encountered,” said the Monroe editor. “He is remarkable because he has carried his devotion to the cause of service to his farmers above everything else in his life. He is as enthusiastic now as when he first became county agent and his enthusiasm and imagination have been given to the people who whom he works. He has put his cause head of all things and has not become selfish nor sought to profit from his cause. He has patience and a love of the soil and he encourages other people to reveal the beauty of good farming.”
Dean Schaub [I.O. Schaub, dean and director of Agricultural Extension at the college] declared that Tom Broom has performed miracles in Union and that the influence of his work is felt not only in the county but over North Carolina and the nation. In generations to come, there will be people who will not know Mr. Broom, he said, but who will call him blessed because of what he taught and what he stood for.
After the banquet at the high school, the group visited the modern seed cleaning plant owned by R.P. Stegall. This modern plant, equipped with $15,000 worth of seed cleaning machinery, is now running 24 hours a day, cleaning seed of farmers. Mr. Stegall has paid out more than $25,000 to those men selling the seed to him outright so far this fall. Last year, the plant handled more than 600,000 pounds of lespedeza see with less equipment, and cleaned in all more than a million pounds.
Dean Schaub threw the switch setting the huge plant in operation again and Mr. Broom stated it would run night and day until about February 15. Mr. Stegall estimated that the plant meant that farmers in Union and surrounding counties would get $250,000 more than they would have received in farm income this season by reason of the seed cleaning and buying facilities now available. Of this amount, between $75,000 and $100,000 would be paid to farmers of Union County.