Farm Credit Services gives OCCHS $8,000 for center

Farm Credit Services gives OCCHS $8,000 for center

Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 8:02 pm

Before any new house can really become a home, it needs some furniture, and the same can be said for Obion County Central High School’s new learning center. Now, thanks to an $8,000 gift from Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, that won’t be a problem.
Farm Credit’s donation was made last week at a presentation ceremony at the high school. Jerry McCullough, a financial services officer from Farm Credit’s Dresden field office, said the gift was just one of the ways that Farm Credit tries to be an active supporter of youth and the rural communities it serves.
“We’re always looking for ways to help out in our communities, whenever we can,” he said. “Projects like this directly correlate to the part of our mission to support youth and further educational opportunities.”
The new 30-foot by 60-foot structure, which is currently midway in construction, is scheduled to be completed by a May 12, 2012, deadline. When finished, it will include a 30-foot by 30-foot learning center, a 20-foot x 30-foot kitchen and restroom area and a 10-foot x 30-foot storage space. In addition to the learning center, a new greenhouse will also be built on the high school’s campus as part of the overall project.
The new learning center will greatly enhance the learning environment for the school’s vo-ag program, as well as its FFA chapter. In addition, it will also be available to agriculturally-related community groups, such as Extension-sponsored meetings, Master Gardeners, and more.
“The new facility is an absolutely tremendous addition to our vo-ag and FFA programs and will also be a draw for community ag groups,” said Stewart Watson, ag teacher and FFA advisor at the high school. “It will also bring more attention to agriculture in this area.”
The $250,000 structure was built largely with the assistance of grants from USDA and a state Ag Enhancement grant, as well as generous community contributions. However funds were lacking for some of the basics to put the finishing touches on the project, like furniture, fixtures, and appliances. School officials put some feelers out to the community for help to finish the final leg of the project and Farm Credit responded.
“We’re glad for the opportunity to be part of something like this,” said McCullough. “This new facility should greatly enhance the opportunities for youth and ag-related groups in the county.”
Watson, along with fellow first-year vo-ag instructor Sarah Baker, is excited about the growth taking place in the OCCHS ag and FFA programs, and sees the new learning center as providing a real boost to those programs.
“Our vo-ag and FFA programs have been growing the past few years, and our goal is to become competitive at the state level in the very near future,” he said. “We feel this new facility will help us to do that.”
Watson also expressed appreciation to Farm Credit for its assistance.
“As nice as the new facility will be, it wouldn’t be complete or functional without furniture, fixtures and appliances,” he said. “We’re very thankful for their continued support of our vocational department and our FFA program.”
Farm Credit Services of Mid-America is a $17 billion financial services cooperative serving over 92,500 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee. The association provides loans for all farm and rural living purposes including real estate, operating, equipment and housing as well as crop insurance and leases. For more information about Farm Credit Services, call 1-800-444-FARM or visit them on the web at www.e-farmcredit.com.

Published in The Messenger 12.13.11

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