In remembrance …

Dr. Roy J. Ledbetter

(1932 – 2020)

Dr. Roy J. Ledbetter was born in Tallapoosa County and grew up in Notasulga AL.  He received his B.S. from Alabama Polytechnic Institute and M.S. from Auburn University.  He received his Ph.D. in Entomology from Mississippi State University.

Ledbetter’s career with Auburn University Extension service spanned 32 years as an entomologist and Assistant Director for ACES, while additionally spending a year in Washington D.C. on special projects to help develop the National Cooperative Pest Management Program.   Ledbetter secured Alabama approximately $155,000 per year over 30 years to successfully educate cotton framers in Alabama how to better manage their cotton insect problems.  All total he was responsible for Auburn and ACES receiving more than $5 million over this period.

He published numerous state and national pest management articles, while crafting Alabama’s first cotton, peanut, soybean, grain, sorghum pest management programs and the first vector control program. 

As District Agent Coordinator for ACES District II, Ledbetter developed training for the county coordinators to better support the office financially and in teams.  Dealing Effectively with County Commissions was an in-depth discussion on county financial administration including an analysis of the county budget.  County coordinators received step-by-step information on how to approach the county commission for funds using value-cost analysis.

Team Building included a strong commitment to participative management and teamwork.  He emphasized working toward a common purpose, management by objectives, shared values, and interpersonal communications.  He provided examples on the district level and encouraged counties to remove obstacles in the way of being a team.  In 1987, Ledbetter received the Extension Hall of Fame Award for Outstanding Extension employees.

In retirement he formed a breakfast group that met once each month to discuss Extension progress, Alabama politics, and Auburn sports.  A colleague remembers, “Only months before his passing, our last in-person visit was a ride down to his Notasulga farm.  I drove slowly that day and we had a great conversation.  Looking back to that trip I wish we had taken a detour so that we could have talked longer.  Dr. Roy Ledbetter’s legacy will live forever with Alabama cotton farmers, Extension entomologists across the US and Alabama, and with me and my family.”

He is survived by his wife, Carol Ball Ledbetter, and children Leigh Ledbetter Layfield (Claude), Chris Ledbetter Sr. and Pamela Ledbetter.

In recognition of his years of service, the name Dr. Roy J. Ledbetter is inscribed on the dedicatory plaques of the Extension Memorial Chapel. 

Chapel Plaques Inscription Number 661