(Editors Note: This is a continuation in a series of articles spotlighting students that have attended the Animal Science degree program at Sampson Community College. The program, which began in 1993, trains studenst to work in the livestock and poultry industry and or to transfer to a four-year university. It has been very successful with most students employed in the area of their degree. Dr. Steve Matthis and Dr. Laurie Hamilton are the two instructors for this program and they developed this continually updated program to meet the needs of the industry.)
This week our featured former Sampson Community College Animal Science degree program graduate is Eric Johnson.
Johnson is a 2007 graduate of Lakewood High School and entered the SCC Animal Science curriculum in the fall of 2007. He is a third generation farmer on the family farm. He is a row crop farmer and also produces hogs and chickens. The family farm produces corn, cotton, sweet potatoes, soybeans and wheat.
His constant companion, Bentley, his dog, goes with him everyday as he conducts his business and work on the farms.
“I learned about the Animal Science program at Sampson Community by talking with Dr. (Steve) Matthis when I was still in high school. From what he told me, I decided that the program would be a great fit,” shared Johnson. “The idea of learning more about the business side of farming seemed to be a very important part of what I needed.”
Johnson expressed that Matthis and Hamilton were not only excellent instructors but what they taught was very practical and useful in real life. The hands-on experiences they shared, he stressed, were truly a great way to learn and understand all aspects of agricultural business.
“The business side of farming is something that they taught me that has been most beneficial. In today’s farming, record keeping is essential and vital if you are to survive. It is also important if you are to stay current and produce the best product possible. The program offered me the information and helped me develop those skills and they have helped tremendously,” asserted Johnson.
The SCC graduate explained that the Animal Science program helped him to understand the mechanisms of maintaining and building adequate housing for poultry and the swine industry. Johnson has been involved in building turkey houses on local farms also, and the young man stated that the hands-on experience he learned at SCC was invaluable.
“I would strongly recommend anyone that is looking a job or that has an interest in farming to look into the Animal Science degree program at SCC. Not only is the curriculum interesting, it is fun. Drs. Matthis and Hamilton are so knowledgeable in their field they become a ready resource even after you finish the program. I am very fortunate and glad to have had the opportunity to attend the program,” shared Johnson.