Jesse W. Mason, Sr. received an agricultual degree from Tuskegee University in 1932. For 51 years, Mr. Mason was committed to Arkansas Agriculture and the wholistic approach to community and economic development in rural Arkansas. He served as an assistant county supervisor in Crittenden County and county supervisor in both Crittenden and Phillips Counties for the Farmers Home Administration. He was also an assistant county extension agent in Crittenden County. Mr. Mason was county director and district supervisor of the Green Thumb Project in Arkansas and Mississippi. As a teacher of vocational agriculture, he went beyond the call of duty in sharing his knowledge, skills and expertise with his students and their parents in an attempt to enhance the economic development of rural communities. Mr. Mason organized self-help groups nurturing farmers in ways to become self-sustaining. He helped in organizing vegetable cooperatives in Northeast and Southeast Arkansas, where limited-resource farmers could supplement their family incomes and help pay for their children’s college expenses. With many other honors, Mr. Mason was selected County Agent of the Year in 1954, FMHA Employee of the year in 1967, and in 1973 received a “USDA/FHA Superior Service Award.” In 1971, Mr. Mason was awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the president of the United States in recognition of his efforts to promote the welfare of poor people in rural America.