PCHS ag dept. receives donationPublished 4:44pm Wednesday, September 19, 2012
PHIL CAMPBELL – The agriscience department at Phil Campbell High School received an unexpected financial boost last week from a company that knows a thing or two about the agriculture business.
On Thursday, representatives from Monsanto, which is a company dedicated to producing and conserving sustainable agriculture, presented a check for $12,500 to Jonathan King, the agriscience instructor at Phil Campbell High School.
Dion McBay, the regional business director for Monsanto, said his company was more than willing to give back to rural schools and communities like Phil Campbell, especially in light of the devastation the school and the agriscience program suffered as a result of the April 27, 2011, tornado.
“Rural America is where we make our money but we don’t want to help you guys out because of that reason,” McBay told seventh-grade agriscience students on Thursday. “We depend on farmers and we depend on communities like yours, but we also care about the people. We care about what you guys are going through and the struggles you have.
“When we found out about the tornadoes and the devastation they caused, we wanted to help make sure the agriscience programs didn’t suffer and that there can be a good ag program in place at this school so you guys can learn more.”
McBay told the students why agriculture and agriscience are so important to the community and the world as a whole.
“Our company is focused 100 percent on agriculture and I know you guys have an interest in that or you wouldn’t be taking this class,” he said.
“By the time you all are my age, there will be an estimated 9 billion people in the world who need to be fed, and agriculture fields are what will help get that accomplished.
“I’m excited that you think this is something that you might want to do in the future, and I hope you guys are able to rebuild your program even bigger and better than it was.”
King, who has been the agriscience instructor at PCHS for several years, said the money will be helpful in purchasing new equipment for the program.
“I went to a workshop recently where they discussed new technology, and I think it’s important for us to have some of these things and expose the students to the technology they would be using if they had a career in that field,” King said.
“We try to expose our students to as many areas of agriscience as possible to help them choose a career on down the line, and this money is necessary in helping us accomplish that.”
PCHS Principal Cindy Davis said she was very appreciative that Monsanto chose her school to receive funding.
“Our ag department is such a strong part of our school because fields like that make up a lot of what we do in this county,” Davis said. “I’m so glad there is some help to get us on our feet again, and I am overwhelmed and grateful for the money we have received today.”
Herbert Trulove, who is the director of the Franklin County Career Technical Center in Belgreen, said he has seen first-hand how valuable agriscience education can be, so he was glad to see a company recognizing and supporting a local program.
“I feel personally that agriscience education has a greater impact on preparing students for life skills and the ability to make career choices,” Trulove said. “You learn so many core things like math and science through these classes but you learn a lot more than that.
“I know this money will be put to good use out here in Phil Campbell and that their program will be better off for it.”