Hero of the Industry/ Third Year/ AFPC Chemist of the Year
October 16, 2003
As President of the AFPC, I am honored to present this award to a member of our association. He is a tireless champion of fact and science over fiction and politics in matters relating to the phosphate industry.
He was born in a small rural Tidewater Community of Chase City, Virginia. His Grandfather, whom he visited during his early childhood, lived on a 100-acre farm raising corn and tobacco. Many of the food items consumed by the family were raised on the farm, which his first job was removing the hard white rocks found in the red clay earth. The first seven years of school was within walking distance. After graduating from Bluestone High School in Skipwith, Virginia he attended Campbell University and graduated with a BS Degree in Chemistry and Math.
During his first job teaching high school chemistry and math at his former high school a friend working for Texas Gulf Sulfur encouraged employment with Texas Gulf in Aurora, North Carolina. He was hired as a shift chemist supervisor in the laboratory during the summer. After four years working for Texas Gulf he joined the company Farmers Chemical Association in Tunis, North Carolina as a development chemist in nitrogen and phosphate production. During the second year a company call “CF Industries, Inc.” started managing and eventually purchased the nitrogen and phosphate facilities. Jim Parsons who is well known in the fertilizer industry was his boss in Tunis. After 12 years as Chief Chemist of the Tunis facility he was transferred to Central Farmers a subsidiary of CF Industries, Inc. in Plant City, Florida. After several years working at the phosphate complex he was promoted to Chief Chemist, which is currently his present position and has been employed by CF Industries, Inc. for the past 32 years..
He was past president of the AFPC and currently serves as chairperson on the Check Sample Committee and Methods Committee. He also serves as an industry liaison with The Fertilizer Institute and the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials on the Terms and Definition, Magruder and Analytical Services Committees of AAPFCO. He was past chairperson of the Professional Working Group of TFI for three years. Holds membership in the American Chemical Society and The International Fertiliser Society. Published several articles about analytical methods in the Journal of the AOAC, International Fertiliser Society and Fertilizer Research. Currently he is writing an update for the Encyclopedia of Analytical Science, 2nd Edition about fertilizer methods to be published in 2004.
He has been working with Operation Chemistry, which teaches middle school science teachers how to teach chemistry in grades 6,7 and 8th for the past 10 years. During this time over 300 teachers have taken this one-week hands-on course to improve their teaching skills in chemistry. Has performed numerous “Chemistry Magic Shows” at local schools and the Zephyrhills Rotary Club. Has encouraged two teachers from Wilson Middle School in Tampa to develop a course in Operation Physics for secondary science teachers. A book was written and Operation Physics has been taught for three years in Hillsborough County.
Currently working with the Youth Steering Committee of United
Way of Hillsborough County. Has been appointed by the City of
Plant City to serve on the Citizens Environmental Advisory
Committee for the County Commissioners. Has worked with the Media Ministry of First Baptist Church of Plant City for nineteen years.
Past activities include: Teaching High School Chemistry and cooking at Steppin’ Stone for nine years in which he was nominated two times for the Golden Rule Award and received the JC Penney Golden Rule Award in 2000 and was the first ten semifinalist for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Community Quarterback Award (Both awards included a $2000 contribution to Steppin’
Stone Farm), Chairperson for unprivileged Christmas Party at CFII, Worked as a volunteer at the Plant City Strawberry Festival, and many other projects in the community.
He is married to his wife, Lynda, for the past 33 years and has two sons, Allen and Trevor.
Don’t turn down an invitation to lunch. He participates in BBQ cooking contests and hosted the TFI/AAPFCO luncheon in February 2002 with his cooking.
I am proud to present this award to Harold Falls.