Tony Melton: Butterbean Research
Until his retirement, Tony Melton left home at five most mornings to start visiting farmers in multiple counties. In addition to that, Dr. Matt Smith at the Pee Dee Research Center asked Tony about trying to develop heat tolerant butterbeans. Tony willingly agreed; he told me that with hotter night- time temperatures, the seeds available wouldn’t set beans. For six years, Tony did this extra work selecting and growing out promising seeds. Fortunately, Extension specialist Bruce McLean is continuing this work based on the strong foundation Tony established. There is a wonderful song you should look up if you, like my family adore this vegetable. It starts off with “Just a bowl of butter beans, pass the biscuits if you please, I don’t want no collard greens, just a bowl of butterbeans."