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.
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.
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.
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).