On hand for the check presentation were Jim Guard, MCS Director of Career Technical Education; Mike Bennett, Ag Mechanics Instructor; Heather Smith, Animal Science Instructor; Jamie McAuslan, Production Technical Trainer - Smithfield Premium Genetics and Kristy Christenberry, Career Technical Education Coordinator.

Just the Beginning

Corporate gift just the first step in a new partnership

Agriculture instructors at the Martin County Schools Innovation Campus received a gift this week from Smithfield Premium Genetics. 

Jamie McAuslan, Production Technical Trainer with Smithfield Premium Genetics, presented the department with a check for $1,250 to be used in support of their program. 

“Smithfield gets a lot of our fuel from AmeriGas,” McAuslan explained. “For every gallon purchased we get money back from them. The company takes that money and gives it back to local school systems.” 

The company has two farms in Martin County, one in Robersonville and another in Williamston. 

For McAuslan, it’s about more than dropping off a check. 

“We want to make connections and come to the classrooms,” she explained. “Help contribute to the (agriculture-related) programs and help build them financially.” 

Mike Bennett, Ag Mechanics instructor, and Heather Smith, Animal Science instructor, are grateful for the financial support and equally as excited about the potential this new relationship can bring to their students. 

“This is a great opportunity to show our students potential careers after high school that relates to what I’m teaching in the classroom,” explained Smith. “This donation will go towards classroom lab materials and models to bridge the gap between curriculum and reality.” 

Classes at the MCS Innovation Campus support students from both Riverside High School and South Creek High School. Since the MCS Agricultural Education program is now based out of the Innovation Campus, the district will also be combining chapters of the Future Farmers of America to have one district chapter.