Oakwood University Brings Back Farming - News Shorts

Oakwood University Brings Back Farming Industry. Looking for a way to bolster its reputation as a Healthy Campus and to help students pay tuition, Oakwood University is bringing back its farming industry. Oakwood Farms, as the project will be called, will pull together a UNCF Career Pathways Grant (CP-GEM) and Oakwood’s Healthy Campus 2020 initiative. The Career Pathways Grant aims to facilitate students' success in matriculation, graduation, and workforce placement. A release from OU president Leslie Pollard’s office named Financial VP Sabrina Cotton the initiative’s coordinator. Former farmer and grocer Artis Sydney will lead the project’s implementation. Oakwood Farms’ first planting will be blueberries, with “pick and pay” stations and ten percent of produce set aside as tithe for the underserved in the Huntsville, Alabama community. The goal, according to the release, will be to hire students as managerial apprentices and agribusiness interns. Oakwood University has promised further details as the project gets underway.

Adventist Eric Walsh's Religious Beliefs Lawsuit Against Georgia Settled for $225,000. State of Georgia agreed to pay $225,000 to settle Dr. Eric Walsh's religious discrimination lawsuit. Walsh was one of the nation's leading health administrators until being fired in 2014 by the Georgia Department of Public Health. A lay minister in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Walsh was fired after Georgia officials learned of his faith. Documents released by First Liberty include e-mails showing that Georgia officials assigned employees to examine his sermons on YouTube—sermons dealing with common Christian themes including creation, compassion, spiritual growth, the family, and Christian living. He was fired after this examination of his religious beliefs. The lawsuit drew national attention last fall after the State of Georgia issued a legal demand that Walsh, a lay pastor, hand over his sermons, sermon notes, and all pastoral documentation including his Bible. Walsh was represented by the Family Research Council. From PR Newswire, “State of Georgia's $225,000 Payout to Pastor a Victory for Religious Freedom.”

Works by Harry Anderson Featured in Mormon Museum. The Church History Museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is hosting an exhibit dedicated to Seventh-day Adventist Harry Anderson, a famous painter of biblical subjects whose works have become especially popular in Mormon circles. More than 25 of Anderson's paint studies—or early drafts made in preparation for creating paintings from the 1960s to the 1970s—are tucked inside the Salt Lake City museum. Anderson illustrated hundreds of paintings for the LDS Church. "He was a very committed, true, and honorable Seventh-day Adventist," Jay Todd, former managing editor of the Ensign, said, according to BYU Studies. "He had his own sense of commitment and declined to paint Book of Mormon and Restoration scenes. As long as the church commissioned biblical work, something that he deeply believed in, he accepted the commissions and was willing to acquiesce to church leaders on visual interpretation. Anderson did not visit Salt Lake City to see his paintings until 1975. His work is now known around the world. The Harry Anderson exhibit is currently open in the Church History Museum through April. From Deseret News, “Who is the Seventh-day Adventist whose paintings are all over Mormon churches?

LLUMC Physician Invents Orthopedic Tool. Loma Linda University Medical Center orthopedic surgeon Christopher Jobe has helped develop a syringe extender that could be operated with one hand and provide doctors with better accuracy when injecting medication directly into orthopedic patients' joints. The device will allow the physician to operate an ultrasound wand with one hand while injecting the joint with the other hand. Jobe brought the idea to inventor Bob MacIntyre about six months ago, and MacIntyre began creating prototypes that reflected Jobe’s idea. MacIntyre and Jobe worked together to perfect the instrument, later filing for a patent to protect their work. Assisting both men in marketing MacIntyre’s latest idea is Eric C. Gosink, LLUMC’s director of technology transfer in research affairs. “LLUMC provides us a friendly atmosphere for research,” Jobe said. From Redlands Daily Facts, “How a Loma Linda doctor and Redlands inventor hope to change the medical industry.”

Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Health Praises Adventist Church. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Zimbabwe is being praised for its significant role in the development of the country’s educational and health sectors by Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Aldrin Musiiwa. He spoke during the Adventist Health Professionals Conference. Musiiwa said, “Your church is applauded for supporting the education system in Zimbabwe ever since the establishment of the then Solusi College in 1894 . . . You are now proud owners of a total of 146 primary and secondary schools and one university. That makes you an organization with the highest number of schools in Zimbabwe apart from Government.” From The Herald, “Govt hails SDA role in education, health.”

Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Redlands, California.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7884

Re Oakwood: Every SDA higher education institution is in “trouble” to one degree or another (most to “many” degrees) over enrollment, finances and clarity of mission for the 21st century. What we need is a systemic approach to our educational system(s) and not a union-by-union effort to shore up whatever institutions it owns. Papers are needed by both insiders and outsiders to help us grasp how truly endangered our educational system(s) is.

It seems that many papers are written about many things, but do the Powers That Be ever really listen? What ever really changes?

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I am a bit confused and just need some clarification. Will the food from the farm be sold? If so, wouldn’t that account for the tithe? Or is 10% of the food going back to the community since it is produce and not funds? If so, is any of the product going to be sold?
BTW, kudos to Oakwood University for bringing back farming. We all eat. This is not just allowing the business and agriculture students a golden opportunity, but also embracing our “heart, head and hand” mantra. When I was a student at Loma Linda Univ. (La Sierra campus), we had a dairy farm (#1 in Southern California), fresh eggs, the best milk and cream, a produce farm, and an equestrian center. Now, it’s just buildings. The Future Farmers of America would visit the campus each year and learn about farming. We had agriculture as a major. Students loved getting their hands in the soil, caring for the animals, etc. Oakwood is bring back something amazing in the 21st century. God bless them.


Remember it well. I used to ride my bike to visit it as a kid all the time.

what we really need is clarity over whether our denomination will remain intact, or split over WO…if we split - and i’m thinking more and more now that there is a serious chance that we will - ownership of each school within NAD will no doubt be part of what can be expected to be contentious, protracted and very costly litigation…in this event, it is doubtful any of our n. american schools can survive, regardless of which side wins, as enrollment will almost certainly take a severe nosedive…school assets would probably need to be sold to offset court costs and employee salaries and pensions…

Having grown up in agriculture I would like to see all our schools do more in this area. If the goal is to teach and supply the university then starting with blueberries is questionable. It takes many years for blueberries to be productive (5-7). Outside of harvest (which also can be machine done) one or two people are all that is needed. Crops that can be harvested in their first year would appear to be a better fit. Tomatoes, your leafy greens, spices and seasoning and other vegetables require much more labor and the return happens that first year. These crops can also be greenhouse grown year round. Even strawberries mature faster than blueberries (some the same year all second yr).