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Agriculture Students Plant Garden at Children’s Center

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Dobson residents of the Children’s Center of Northwest North Carolina are enjoying watching vegetables and flowers grow this summer thanks to the work of Surry Community College’s Sustainable Agriculture students.

During the spring semester, students from Randy Shur’s AGR-265 Organic Crop Production class cleaned out the already established raised beds at the Children’s Center by pulling weeds and loosening the soil. They planted tomatoes, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, green beans, and flowers. Since then, the children have been watering, weeding, and taking care of the plants.

three students work in raised beds
Nadene Patterson (left), Salem Dockery (right) and instructor Randy Shur (back) clean out the weeds from the raised beds at the Children’s Center of Northwest North Carolina in Dobson to prepare them to be planted.

“The children love to take care of the garden. It’s been very popular,” said Angie Layne, Activities & Life Skills Coordinator at the Children’s Center of Northwest North Carolina. “The college students worked hard, and it looks wonderful.”

The Children’s Center offers a wide range of programs that support the prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse. In addition, the Children’s Center provides services for neglected and at-risk youth. They operate two residential homes—one in Surry County and another in Yadkin County—but serve families from across all Northwest North Carolina.

Shur is an adjunct instructor at SCC. His family’s business, Miss Angels U-Pick Farm, donated the plants for the project.

“I like for my students to participate in community service projects,” he said. “It’s a good feeling to help people who might not be as fortunate as you are.”

The students who participated in the project were Salem Dockery of Pfafftown, Jordan Quesinberry of Mount Airy and Nadene Patterson of State Road.

“Working on the raised beds for the Children's Home was a great project for us to do. We were able to get some hands-on experience with different trellis styles for tomatoes for both gardeners and commercial growers, and we also got to speak with a representative of the Children's Center about their work and role in the community, which was eye-opening and heart-warming, to say the least,” said Dockery. “It's great to do the groundwork for these kids to have something that will nourish them in so many ways. Projects like this one, where SCC programs like Sustainable Agriculture, are able to participate in and support the community, are something I hope we're able to continue doing going forward.”

SCC offers a certificate in Sustainable Agriculture Technology. Three classes will be offered this fall: AGR-139 Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture, AGR-160 Plant Science, and AGR-130 Alternative Ag Production. High school juniors and seniors can take the classes tuition free through the Career & College Promise program.

The college is currently registering students for fall courses. If you need help with the application, class registration or tuition assistance, please contact Student Services at (336) 386-3264 or studentservices@surry.edu. You can go to surry.edu for more information and to review a list of fall classes.

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