Hooker, Okla. – With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to grow twice as quickly as other industries, Seaboard Foods contributed $38,300 to several rural high schools where it operates to fund industrial arts programs and equipment. Several of the donations were made in partnership with CoBank’s Sharing Success Program which funds community and educational efforts in rural America.
In Oklahoma, Seaboard Foods and CoBank donated $20,000 to fund the new metal and welding program at Hooker High School. The contribution supplies five new welding machines for 40 students to learn technical, problem-solving and STEM skills. Graduates with these skills are highly sought after in agriculture, manufacturing and other industries that are prevalent in rural economies.
“We are very appreciative of Seaboard Foods for funding the new Agriculture Power & Technology program with equipment and supplies. Our students will receive training that could lead to a welding career in a variety of industries,” said Stuart Moore, superintendent of schools, Hooker Public Schools.
In Eastern Colorado, Seaboard Foods and CoBank collectively contributed $15,000 to the Ag Shop class at Holyoke High School. The funds allow the school to upgrade very outdated metal work, woodworking and other agricultural equipment. Seventy students in the rural district will benefit from learning important technical skills, STEM and life skills using new equipment.
“We are so grateful for the grant from Seaboard Foods that will help us upgrade and purchase new tools for the Holyoke Ag Shop. We have a large number of students interested in pursuing a career in the trades skills area, and it is so important that they are being trained on up to date and industry standard equipment. This grant will allow us to do this!” said Shauna Strecker, Holyoke High School ag teacher & FFA advisor.
In the last twelve months, Seaboard Foods donated to other high school programs in communities where it operates.
- In Guymon, Okla., Seaboard Foods funded an auto mechanic program at Guymon High School. The $15,000 donation funded the necessary tools, programmers, and continuous-use supplies like oils and fluids. In addition to learning mechanical skills, the auto mechanic program teaches technical aptitude skills through hands-on learning and practical experience.
- Seaboard Foods contributed $6,000 over three years to Des Moines Public Schools Central Campus in Des Moines, Iowa. The donation provided instruction to non-traditional students with limited agriculture and food production knowledge insight into the livestock and animal protein industry.
- Elkhart High School students in Elkhart, Kansas, benefitted from a new $2,300 plasma cutter for the machine shop program.
- The Texhoma High School in Texhoma, Okla., received business simulation software for its business program. The software teaches valuable financial decision-making skills to their business students.
In addition to school program donations, Seaboard Foods also conducts a scholarship program launching in October contributing $65,000 to high school seniors seeking to further their education after graduation in communities where it operates. Community high school seniors could apply for $40,000 in scholarships and children of Seaboard Foods’ employees could apply for $25,000 in scholarships.
In 2021, Seaboard Foods contributed $869,000 in financial and product donations to charitable causes with $390,500 in donations to school and sports buyout programs, community events, club donations and more.
About Seaboard Foods
Seaboard Foods, an American-owned pork producer, works to bring excellence to the table by connecting every step from the farm to tables across the world to produce Prairie Fresh® pork. Operating in five states and employing more than 5,000 employees, Seaboard Foods’ commitment to creating the most sought-after pork for its diverse global customers ensures the well-being of its animals, the environment, employees, customers and the communities they call home. Headquartered in Merriam, Kan., products are sold domestically and internationally under the Prairie Fresh® and Seaboard Farms® brands. For more information, visit seaboardfoods.com.