MOUNT OLIVE – Students from the University of Mount Olive AGE 211 crop science class recently visited two Sampson County farms to learn about peanut production and see harvesting first hand. The students visited Matthews Farms operated by David Matthews of Turkey and the farm of Roy Ezzell, also of Turkey.
At Mattews Farms, Sampson County Extension Agent Della King talked with students about all aspects of peanut farming including seed, production practices, weed management, insect, mite and disease management, planting, harvesting and curing. King also demonstrated pod blasting to show students how to evaluate peanuts for maturity. The students then traveled to the farm of Roy Ezzell to see peanut harvesting in action. Brothers Kyle and Trent Sutton were harvesting peanuts and gave the students an explanation of the equipment used and how each piece works.
“It was great to visit Matthews Farm and see things from the farmer’s perspective – the production side of things,” said Ty Hunter, a sophomore from Clinton. “I learned so much from this experience that I would never have gotten from a textbook.”
Dr. Kendra Jernigan, UMO Assistant Professor for Agriculture, said, “We are extremely grateful to farmers like David Matthews that take time out of their busy schedules to share their practical knowledge with us. The students learn more from spending a couple hours with these farmers than I can ever teach them in class. Without the farmers’ help, this class would be just another crop science class like you would get at any other university. However, because of our location and with the help of farmers like David Matthews, we are exposing our students to information and opportunities that large land grant institutions cannot provide.”
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The university, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.