MOUNT OLIVE – The Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary with a banquet and awards ceremony. During the event, current students in the agri education and agribusiness programs talked about the accomplishments of the Center during the past ten years including outreach efforts, curriculum advancement, internship development, activities accomplished by student organizations, and community service projects. They also discussed the future opportunities and projections for the Center. Over 180 people attended the event.
“The students of our agriculture programs and our Collegiate FFA wanted to take this opportunity to recognize and give thanks to the individuals and agribusinesses that have made the growth of the agriculture programs here at Mount Olive College a reality” stated Sandy Maddox, director of the Agribusiness Center. “There is no way to individually recognize everyone that has provided support to our programs, but hopefully this banquet helps to show our appreciation.”
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of ten Honorary Collegiate FFA Degrees given to individuals who have provided life-changing experiences for students and members of the Mount Olive College Collegiate FFA program. The awards were presented to:
Dr. J. William Byrd, president emeritus of Mount Olive College, for his visionary leadership of the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center and the undergraduate studies in agriculture at Mount Olive College. The award was presented by Alaina Airheart a junior agriculture education major from Mt. Pleasant.
The Scott Family - The late Don Scott served as the first director of the Agribusiness Center and actually chartered the Mount Olive College Collegiate FFA Chapter in 2002. Don’s wife, Janice Scott, was an avid supporter of the agriculture programs during her husband’s tenure and beyond. Howard Scott, Don’s brother, is the longest serving current member on the College’s Board of Trustees and has served in numerous capacities to support the agriculture programs. The award was presented by Edward Olive, a senior agriscience education major from Benson.
The Lois G. Britt Family - was recognized for their continuing contributions to the agricultural programs here at Mount Olive College. Britt possessed a passion for agriculture, for education and for eastern North Carolina. The dedication of the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center in 2007 represented the College’s commitment to the vision of agriculturalists like the Britt family. The award was presented by Brian Carter, a junior agriculture education major from Clinton.
Dr. Barbara Kornegay was recognized for her instrumental assistance in the development of the agribusiness curriculum and the agriculture education curriculum. Kornegay assisted in the formulation of a 3+1 agreement with NC State University allowing Mount Olive College to offer a bachelor of science in agriculture education. It was noted that her commitment also goes beyond curriculum support to student support as she and her husband, George, provide an endowed scholarship to deserving agriculture students at Mount Olive College. The award was presented by David Thomas, a sophomore agribusiness major from Timberlake.
Dr. Curtis Rains received the award for his recruitment efforts in the agribusiness and agriculture education programs at Mount Olive College. In presenting the award, Hannah Singleton, a sophomore agriculture education major from Goldsboro, said, “Dr. Rains professional, supportive and encouraging demeanor is recognized by students and he continues to keep students interested and excited about coming to Mount Olive College. I think I can speak for all of us that this recipient has been and will continue to be an asset to the growth and accomplishments of the agricultural programs and students at Mount Olive College.”
Dorothy Whitley received the award for her instrumental efforts in supporting and developing the agricultural education curriculums at Mount Olive College. In presenting the award Larry Edwards, a senior agriculture education major from Roseboro, said, “The one thing I remember most about this person was something she said and I quote, ‘If you do not possess a passion for education then you might need to look for another career.’
Benjie Forrest was recognized for his instrumental efforts in getting the word out about the opportunities in agriculture education and agribusiness at Mount Olive College and for his efforts in assisting numerous new agriculture graduates in finding employment opportunities. The award was presented by Edward Olive.
Bill Bryan and Lynn Williams were recognized for the generosity that Mount Olive Pickle has shown in providing support for the agriculture programs at Mount Olive College through donations and through allowing students to tour their facilities to further their understanding of agricultural production and processing. Hannah Singleton presented the award and said, “The support that Mount Olive Pickle provides to not only Mount Olive College, but to so many other organizations and efforts in Mount Olive and beyond is an example to us all.”
Audrey Brown, a Mount Olive College alumnus, was recognized for providing opportunities to agriculture students at the College. As a result of Brown’s efforts Mount Olive College students have participated in state discussion meet competitions for the last five years, traveled to young farmer and rancher conferences both in and out of state, initiated a Mount Olive College Collegiate Young Farmer and Rancher campus organization, and with her assistance become leaders and advocates for agriculture at the state and national level. The award was presented by Brian Carter.
Stan Dixon was recognized for his commitment to the mission of the agribusiness center and to the agricultural academic programs. Dixon has served as a mentor and teacher for the agriculture programs and an avid sponsor of Collegiate FFA and Collegiate Young Farmer and Ranchers. In the words of the award presenter, Alaina Airheart, “Dixon has given of his time, his experience, and his resources. He provides students insight and guidance in areas related to academic achievement and personal growth. He is a breath of fresh air and a joy to be around.”
“We are certainly excited to see what has been accomplished over the last ten years and look forward to the opportunity to strengthen existing partnerships and build new ones for the benefit of our agriculture students and ultimately the agriculture community across North Carolina,” Maddox said.
Mount Olive College is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville. For more information, visit www.moc.edu.