The Order of Agricultural Merit is bestowed by the French Republic to individuals for outstanding services to agriculture in public duties or in the practice of agriculture. It also rewards people who distinguish themselves in scientific research or in related publications. The rank of “Officier” is one step higher than the rank of “Chevalier”, or “Knight”. It is rare that the Republic of France bestows one of their most distinguished awards on an American woman. Seymour is the daughter of Robert and Pearl Seymour of Chapel Hill.