A local and well known veterinarian, Dr. Llewellyn C. Peyton has been inducted into the Alcorn 2019 Alumni Hall of Fame.
The Alumni Hall of Fame honors distinguished Alcorn State University (ASU) alumni and community leaders whose character and accomplishments exemplify outstanding achievement in the field of agriculture, family and consumer sciences, industrial technology or community leadership, annually. This prestigious award honors a group of individuals who are/were visionary leaders and inspirational, who have made significant contributions in their field of specialization or service to the community. These individuals have demonstrated university spirit, professional and leadership characteristics that are noteworthy. The Alcorn 2019 Hall of Fame banquet will be held on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Jackson Marriott located at 200 East Amite Street, Jackson, MS 39201. All proceeds will be used to support student scholarships.
Dr. Peyton was born in Vicksburg, Miss. and was raised in Bay Springs, Miss. educated in the West Jasper school system. Dr. Peyton entered Alcorn A&M College at the tender age of 16 and earned his Bachelor of Science in 1970. Dr. Peyton earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1974 from the University of Minnesota. He interned in large animal surgery at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1974-75 and in 1977 he earned his Masters of Science in Surgery and completed a residency in large animal surgery at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Dr. Peyton taught large animal surgery at the University of Florida from 1978 to 1991. While a member of the faculty at the University of Florida, Dr. Peyton assisted 12 African American students in earning their Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Florida. These students represent the first, the second and the third Black American students to earn their degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida. “These students are more than just pride for me. These students represent my life’s work. They are my crown jewels, my glory achievement. I will always be thankful to them for allowing me to play a small role in shaping their lives”, said Dr. Peyton.
Some of Dr. Peyton’s accomplishments are as follows:
•First Black American to graduate with a Doctors of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota.
•First Black American to complete an Internship (large animal surgery) at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
•1975-1977: First Black American to complete Residency (large animal surgery) and earn a Masters’ Degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University.
•1978: First Black American to be hired as a faculty member at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. Dr. Peyton tenured in 1982 and earned an Associate Professorship in the Department of Surgical Science Veterinary Teaching Hospital College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
•1981: Adjunct Appointment to the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Florida by Dr. E. R. Woodard.
International Presentations and Seminars:
•1981: Consulted with Dr. Larry Pultz, Ceiba, Puerto Rico on respiratory problems in the equine.
•1982: Consulted with Dr. Jose Roberto Tarato Jockey Club, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
•1982: Wound Care in Horses – Symposium I - International De Clinica E. Cirurdia Veterinary Equine, Rio de Janeiro.
•1982: World Veterinary Conference, Perth, Australia.
Dr. Peyton returned to Bay Springs in 1991. His return was preempted by the sudden death of his mother and a note left to him from her saying, “Llewellyn, do not sell the house.”
Dr. Peyton started his Veterinary business and opened Tri-County Veterinary Services, servicing Jasper, Smith, Jones, Newton, Clark and Simpson counties, specializing in the care of large animals, mainly horses and cattle. Dr. Peyton conducts health exams, give vaccinations, draw blood, prescribe medications and perform surgeries are just a few of the services offered.
A couple of years later, Dr. Peyton decided to start a restaurant. In 1999, he opened “Mama’s Kitchen”. Mama’s Kitchen is a soul food restaurant located in Bay Springs. No one comes to Mama’s Kitchen and leaves hungry, regardless of their ability to pay.
Dr. Peyton is also the founder of the Community Unity Scholarship Program (CUSP). CUSP is a church based program. Students of participating churches who are in their senior year of high school are nominated by their church membership to apply for a financial award from CUSP. Dr. Peyton vison was to create a partnership with the local churches and the local community to provide encouragement as well as financial support to high school seniors in the community in pursuit of a higher education.
“Simply put, I was thinking of a moment in which the people of the community could give these students a pat on the back and say “that-a-boy” or “that-a-girl”, said Dr. Peyton.
Since its inception in 2001, CUSP has awarded more than 100 area students with over $60,000 in financial assistance. These efforts are funded through donations from participating churches, the local business community and personal friends and supporters. All churches in the community are encouraged to participate.
Dr. Peyton was licensed for Pastoral Ministry in the United Methodist Church on January 1, 2010. Currently, he is the pastor of three Methodist churches, Blue Ridge United Methodist Church, located in Jasper County, Smith Chapel United Methodist Church and Mattileu United Methodist Church, both located in Jones County. Additionally, every Thursday night, Dr. Peyton preaches to a group of “cowboys” at the Mize, Miss. sale barn. The congregation is nondenominational.
“I see friendship and the willingness to serve. I am honored to serve as their pastor”, said Dr. Peyton.
Although Dr. Peyton is semiretired, he continues to service and educate cattle farmers’ in the eastern part of Mississippi from Tupelo to Hattiesburg. Dr. Peyton partners with the Grazing Land Conservation Initiative to educate livestock producers on how to maintain and improve the management, productivity and health of their livestock. Dr. Peyton provides technical assistance to ensure that their resources remain healthy and productive by supporting and encouraging better grazing management, improved livestock production, control of invasive weeds and the use of efficient production techniques. He continues to participate in seminars as a keynote speaker and in group discussions with other subject matter experts in related fields.
The main objective is to acquaint local farmers about the science of breeding and caring for farms animals (i.e. cattle and horses). He outlines “cow/calf” vaccination protocols focusing on the vaccine and the composition of whether there is a virus or bacteria by identifying the differences and the pros and cons of each and the value of the vaccination program. He also conducts visual and hands-on instruction for doing procedures such as castration and dehorning. Additionally, he provides educational and related assistance to those who own and manage private grazing land.
Dr. Peyton is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He contributes his success to his spiritual growth and development.
“As I have gotten older, I’ve had the chance to look back and take note of how I got here – to this place where I am now. Alcorn played a large part and taught me to be humble, that everyone was somebody and there is some good in the least of us. As I look back on the many degrees I’ve earned, the many papers I’ve written, the research, the presentations, the people I’ve met and my success in life – what I have come to know and believe is it was God. I don’t think that Llewellyn Corneal Peyton could have achieved all the accolades by himself,” he explained.