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Cozart, S.M. (Zeke)

In Honor of S.M. "Zeke" Cozart

S. M. "Zeke" Cozart was born in Wilson County in 1911 to Ula Herbert Cozart of Granville County and Ollie Moye of Pitt County. Zeke grew up and attended Wilson County schools. After Graduation, he went to the University of North Carolina where he played football and received his B.S. degree in 1932.

After graduating from college, he returned to Wilson where he became a partner with his father who owned and operated the Center Brick Warehouse, he also became a partner in Cozart Farms. Mr. Cozart went on to run Center Brick Warehouse until 1986 establishing himself as a fixture on the Wilson Market. Only World War II interrupted his tenure on the market. From 1940-1944, he served in the U.S. Army Air Force where he was a captain in combat intelligence.

On March 5, 1947 Zeke married Gretchen Jones they have four children; Sydnor C. Presnell, Thomas Allen, Gail C. Williams, and Gene Foster.

Zeke's experience as a farmer and warehouse operator made him a valuable member of numerous boards and commissions. He served two terms as chairman of the North Carolina Crop Improvement Association and The North Carolina Seed Producers. He is past chairman of N.C. State's North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, and has served as the Chairman of the advisory board to the Vice Chairman for Agriculture at N.C. State. Mr. Cozart was the first Chairman of the Wilson Economic Development Council.

Mr. Cozart's work in agribusiness has earned him a "Tobacco Great" award by North Carolina State University, and the Epsilon Sigma Phi award by the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service for outstanding public service and support. Throughout his career he has been a strong supporter of higher education, serving two terms on the U.N.C. Board of Visitors, twenty years on the board of the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, as an early board member for the Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies, and as a trustee of Barton College.
Zeke's boundless energy has led him to leadership roles at Wilson First United Methodist Church, and to founding Boy Scout Troop Six and serving as its first scoutmaster.

This Honor was given to Mr. Cozart by the Tobacco Farm Life Museum at the Excellence in Agriculture Dinner on November 29, 2001, honoring his outstanding contributions
to our agribusiness community.

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