From the dawn of time, farming has been the life blood of every society. As a cornerstone to advancing global needs that relate to the food supply, it is imperative that today’s students and future world leaders clearly understand the importance of how the food chain fits into a developed and modern society.
Recognizing this fact has led the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) and AGCO, to develop a partnership that will serve as a model of excellence for demonstrating, teaching, and explaining the complexities of both yesterday’s and today’s farming technology and how it works within the agricultural profession.
The GEHC’s six heritage sites will utilize AGCO’s professional assistance in developing educational programming. AGCO’s philanthropic support will be used to develop gardens and exhibits that provide an interpretive, hands-on experience of a working farm. This will enable students of all ages to understand the life and culture of an agrarian society and the 21st century farm implements that harvest the world’s commodities such as soybeans, cotton, wheat, sunflowers, corn, beans, etc.
The partnership has resulted in a gift valued at $50,000 to the GEHC Foundation that will support programming for students, active seniors, and visitors with disabilities. This gift includes professional in-kind services and a Massey Ferguson 2670HD tractor, which will be used as a resource in programming and as a tool to create gardens and plant crops at the GEHC’s heritage sites, including the Chesser-Williams House and McDaniel Farm. Guests will also enjoy the tractor during old fashioned hay rides and on a tram tour of the GEHC’s forested trails.
“Today’s students must be able to compete in and understand a global market. Preparing our future leaders to work in this environment will be important to their success,” said Steve Cannon, GEHC executive director. “This partnership between GEHC and AGCO will allow students to experience the planting of a seed, the nurturing of a plant, and the commodity that is produced and how this simple, biological process has a profound impact on the world economy.”
“Working with AGCO will give students an advantage in understanding how a company located in Duluth, Georgia can have a world impact on technology, academics, and philanthropic initiatives. The GEHC is extremely grateful for this opportunity and looks forward to enhancing the partnership,” added Cannon.
“AGCO is excited to partner with the GEHC. Gwinnett County is a diverse, suburban community that has one of the largest school systems in the United States. These students will be the future leaders of a global society. Through education programs, like those the GEHC offers, students can begin to understand that their food doesn’t come from the grocery store – it grows in the dirt on a farm,” said David Bercik, AGCO’s product marketing manager for compact and utility tractors.
“AGCO’s mission and vision are similar to the GEHC’s in that both organizations support educational initiatives that enhance a student’s ability to work in a global business environment. This partnership will further the knowledge of agriculture technology for current and future generations and that is an exciting thought,” added Bercik.