James Bellamy of Shallotte, North Carolina was elected to the Brunswick Soil and Water Conservation District Board in 1948. He served for over 49 years with 34 of those years as Chair until his passing in 1998. He enjoyed spending time working on his farm and implementing conservation practices that provided excellent wildlife habitat. He was also very active with Brunswick County Farm Bureau as well as Shallotte Lions Club.
James was a leader from the moment he became a soil and water district board member. In 1964, he was elected as the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts President. In 1965, he was then elected as Chairman of the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Chair of the NCASWCD Legislative Committee and a Council Member of NACD. He was instrumental in the implementation in the passing of Legislation to establish Drainage Districts in North Carolina. He helped to accelerate the NC Soil Survey Program and was involved in seeking funds to establish the Cape Fear Resource Conservation and Development Council – Region O.
He was first elected to the NACD Board of Directors in 1982. He served as SE NACD Region Chair in 1984 and in 1987. He served for 20 years in various capacities with NACD including five committees and for three years on the National Soil Conservation Plant Materials Center Board of Directors.
He received many awards over the years including NC Governor’s Conservation Award, NC and National Soil Society Awards. He was inducted North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2013 after his passing, he was inducted in the Southeast NACD Hall of Fame.
James led by example always willing to do more than required or expected. He had a great influence on others to think outside of district boundaries and work hard toward the common goals of soil and water conservation districts across the nation. He was always very influential in his local district being dedicated to support NACD through hard work and funding. He knew that the NACD Members could accomplish amazing goals by working as a team and relished being a part of that. He not only talked the talk, he walked the walk and lead by example. He was often seen wearing his NACD hat and many times this would give him the opportunity to share the message of conservation.
A former board member Harold C. Robinson, that served with James summed it up very nicely many years ago, “ Without a doubt, James is one of the most dedicated soil and water supervisors in America”.