THE SEEDS OF GROWTH
Three governors help harvest the benefits of biotechnology.
It was 1977, and Jim Hunt, the newly elected governor of North Carolina, was determined that his traditionally agricultural state would start growing a more fruitful economy. "Early in his first term, Hunt clearly sent out a signal across the state that he was interested in higher-paying jobs," says Ferrel Guillory, who covered Hunt's governorship for the Raleigh News and Observer. "It sounds quaint today that that would be a big deal," Guillory says, but some saw such efforts as a threat to the state's traditional economy.
Hunt's background in agriculture - bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural education and agricultural economics - helped him to see biotechnology's promise. "I had that perspective that we can work with genetics to improve the varieties of our crops and animals,...