When the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic’s (SJPP) Division of Agriculture stages its 5th annual Awards Dinner this Saturday, September 27, two female students will   walk away with the top award – the Pine Hill Dairy -sponsored ‘Roland Anderson Collins Scholarship Award’.

When the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic’s (SJPP) Division of Agriculture stages its 5 annual Awards Dinner this Saturday, September 27, two female students will   walk away with the top award – the Pine Hill Dairy -sponsored ‘Roland Anderson Collins Scholarship Award’.

Leanne Devonish, now employed by the Ministry of Agriculture, and Tiffany Hinkson, a second-year student, will receive the 2006-2007 award worth BDs$1,500, which stands in the name of a former Pine Hill Dairy employee, now deceased.

The Awards Dinner, which comes off at 7:00 p.m. at the school is being held to recognise those students, who have excelled in the various programmes offered by the Division.  It is also to show appreciation to members of the public who have supported its efforts.

In underscoring the importance of the event, Head of the Division of Agriculture, Hector Belle, explained: “Most people tend to look at agriculture as a vocation, not worthy of acknowledgement. So, we use the occasion to promote agriculture and to instill pride in our students in order to help them to elevate their standards.”

Noting that similar events were held, as a matter of course, by persons within the medical and legal fraternity , and even as far away as Hollywood, he explained:  “We do this to encourage those  students who are behind to strive for excellence and not to just  come in and sit  subjects.”

In reflecting on the programme’s  success, Mr. Belle stressed that  on graduation, it was not a case  of students looking for work, as much as companies asking  the SJPP for students.

“The demand is greater than the supply generally…our students are out there doing things. Some go on to the Community College to do the Associate Degree, some go on to UWI, and some even start their own businesses or  go on to work for the Ministry of Agriculture or other agencies.  We pride ourselves on educating students who can produce the goods,” he said.

A total of 20 awards will be presented during the ceremony.  These, according to the Divisional Head,   include an Entrepreneurship Award, which he sponsors for the most outstanding student in the Farm Management course; awards for the most practical student; the most outstanding students in Landscaping and Horticulture; and Animal and Crop Husbandry, among others. World to Work and Bookworm Awards will also be presented.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Haynesley Benn, will deliver the feature address at the Awards Dinner.

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