05/29/2024
Spread the love

By Charlotte Smith

Agribusiness has been the leading industry in Bladen County since the 1700s. Recognizing the sector’s significance to the local economy, Bladen Community College (BCC) and Cape Fear Farm Credit have joined forces to further invest in the future of agribusiness in the area.

On March 21, 2022, BCC hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Cape Fear Farm Credit Lobby in building nine and the new greenhouse on the college’s campus.

Dr. Amanda Lee, President of BCC, and Mr. Dennis Troy, Chair of the BCC Board of Trustees, welcomed attendees to the event. They highlighted the critical role of the college’s partnership with Cape Fear Farm Credit in advancing agricultural education in Bladen County. They noted that Cape Fear Farm Credit’s support expedited the construction of the greenhouse, pivotal for agribusiness teaching.

During the ceremony, Lynn Marshburn, BCC Agribusiness Technology Instructor, was the first to speak about the occasion’s significance. Marshburn expressed gratitude to Cape Fear Farm Credit for their role in facilitating the rapid construction of the greenhouse. She remarked on the perfect timing of the event, coinciding with National Ag Literacy Week and favorable weather conditions.

“A greenhouse is an invaluable asset to any agricultural program,” Marshburn explained. “With the opening of this facility, we can provide the practical skills necessary for success in agriculture here in Bladen County.”

She also highlighted the program’s innovative aspects, adding, “Furthermore, we have established a hydroponic system, which represents the cutting-edge future of agriculture, particularly in vegetable production.”

Thom Mundell, a BCC Agribusiness Technology program student, then addressed the crowd. He discussed the new facility’s practical benefits, saying, “The greenhouse allows those of us who thrive on hands-on learning to move from abstract theories about root structures to actual cultivation in a controlled environment.”

Mundell concluded, “This has meaningful potential, as we might be able to support the community at large by donating or selling the food we produce in the greenhouse.”

 

According to the agribusiness students, the greenhouse will host a plant and chick sale on Earth Day, April 22, 2022.

Evan Kleinhans, CEO of Cape Fear Farm Credit, was the last speaker before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. He addressed those in attendance, saying, “Cape Fear Farm Credit is a purpose-driven organization. Our purpose is to serve agriculture and rural communities to enrich the lives of others.” He expressed gratitude to BCC representatives for the collaborative effort to provide agricultural learning initiatives.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured BCC student Thom Mundell and representatives from BCC and Cape Fear Farm Credit. Following the ceremony, attendees admired the new Cape Fear Farm Credit Lobby mural, enjoyed lunch, and took leisurely tours of the greenhouse. The mural was created by Kenny White of Signs and Designs.

Dr. Jason Atkinson, Superintendent of Bladen County Schools, was also present. He discussed the close collaboration between Bladen County Schools and Bladen Community College, which aims to prepare students interested in agriculture and agribusiness for further educational opportunities offered by the college.

“It is great that everyone works together, and having the greenhouse here is exciting,” Dr. Atkinson remarked.

Bladen County Commissioner Arthur Bullock echoed Dr. Atkinson’s sentiments, adding, “I support anything positive for our community. Educating a person can significantly improve their life.”

Bladen Community College offers an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Agribusiness Technology, among other agribusiness certificates. For more information about BCC’s agribusiness programs, visit their website, https://www.bladencc.edu/.

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