R.L. Melton Agricultural Scholarship

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R L Melton was born on March 3, 1931 into a family of modest means. After
completing the 11th grade, R L left school and briefly worked in one of the Lenoir, NC furniture factories. Shortly thereafter, he joined the U.S. Navy and served during theKorean Conflict aboard the destroyer USS Black. After completing his military
service in 1954, R L went to work for Lowe’s, which at the time consisted of three
stores (North Wilkesboro, Sparta, Asheville). Through a combination of hard work
and a strong desire to succeed, R L rose to hold a series of management positions.

R L had a strong desire to eventually have a small farming operation. However, a
lack of land and equipment postponed his plan. By the early 1970’s he began to
acquire some land and equipment as money would afford. By the time of his
retirement in 1985, R L had a small cattle operation in progress. The years spent
farming until his death in 2000 was his happiest and most fulfilling. In fact, he often
stated that he found farming relaxing, as well as enjoying the fellowship with fellow

One of R L’s major priorities in life was to see that his family had the opportunity to
get additional education in order to effectively pursue and succeed in their chosen
professions. He realized that he had been extremely lucky to have succeeded with
his minimal education, but also acknowledged the complexity of operating a
business in today’s environment required a good education. Therefore, the Melton
Foundation is honored to continue on with R L’s desire to assist others in attaining
an education to equip them with the tools for a successful future.

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