New CALS scholarship honors Richard Canady and his love for family, friends and agriculture

Date posted: February 8, 2011

David and Jean Canady shared memories of their son Richard.Becky KirklandDavid and Jean Canady shared memories of their son Richard.

It’s not typical that an endowment signing draws a standing-room-only crowd, but when word went out that a scholarship was being created in memory of Richard Canady, 2002 graduate of N.C. State University, nearly three score family, friends and colleagues made a point to be there Oct. 1. The David “Richard” Canady Scholarship Endowment was created that day by Richard’s parents, David and Jean, and brother, Andrew, in the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc., College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The endowment will be used to provide scholarships for CALS students who are at least rising sophomores and enrolled in a traditional agriculture program either in four-year degree curricula or in the two-year Agricultural Institute. Priority for receiving the award will be for students with a background or interest in agriculture or agribusiness, with additional priority given to applicants from the CALS Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE), from which Canady graduated.

Canady’s 2002 bachelor’s degree from ARE was one of two he earned that year, double-majoring in forest management. Canady, who grew up in St. Pauls, had applied only to N.C. State when he graduated from high school, saying, “My kind of people go to State.” His father and grandfather both were N.C. State graduates. He later earned a 2003 master’s degree in agribusiness management from Mississippi State University. From there, he returned to work briefly with the state department of natural resources, before taking a post as agronomist with Universal Leaf North America in Nashville, a job his father described as a “hand-in-glove” fit for him.

Richard Canady

Meanwhile, in 2005, Canady had begun his own farming operation, raising soybeans. By 2006, his father recalled, he had 130 acres of beans. “He was getting serious about his business,” David Canady said. But in June 2006, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Despite surgery to remove it, the cancer returned, and Canady’s health declined. He was attended to by many loving family and friends, and several local farmers joined together to complete the harvesting of his bean crop. He passed away May 26, 2007, at the age of 28.

Now, on this first day of October — Richard’s mother’s birthday — the room was full of memories of him. His three diplomas were on display. And his aunts and uncles, former classmates, work colleagues, friends, N.C. State professors and, of course, his parents were generous with their recollections of him, painting a vivid picture of Richard Canady.

“What a wonderful person our son Richard was. How he loved people. How thankful we are for family and friends who made his and our lives richer and for all of you who helped care for him in those months he was home,” David Canady said.

“With this scholarship in his name, we hope students will catch some of the spirit of loving life and loving agriculture that Richard Canady possessed.”

— Terri Leith

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