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Farm Bureau grants help fund Ag in the Classroom

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SMITHFIELD — The North Carolina Farm Bureau provided two teachers in Johnston County Public Schools with $500 grants to help fund innovative agricultural initiatives.

N.C. Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom grants help educators provide students with valuable, real-world education and experiences directly related to the agricultural industry.

Four Oaks Middle teacher Victoria “Tori” Gwaltney and South Johnston High teacher Candace Parker were the grant recipients.

Superintendent Ross Renfrow, Farm Bureau Smithfield agency manager Charlie Young and Johnston County Farm Bureau Federation President Dennis Durham presented the grants to Gwaltney and Parker on Jan. 14.

Gwaltney plans to use the funds to provide tools for the school’s raised bed project.

“We are very excited to get our raised bed project running and these funds from Farm Bureau will help tie up all of our loose ends,” said Gwaltney. “This project will provide hands-on activities and real-world applications to students in all grade levels in addition to opportunities to earn supervised agricultural experience hours. The students are very excited to have facilities to put what we learn in the classroom to the test.”

Parker plans to use the funds to purchase a new kennel for the South Johnston High Pet Salon.

“We’ve built a reputation of having exceptionally trained students through our facility,” said Parker “This grant will help us continue to train students in our veterinary assistant program, get more vet clinics on board and provide more internships for our students.”