Hooker, Okla., (October 6, 2022) – While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers will grow twice as fast as other industries, Seaboard Foods contributed $38,300 to several rural areas. secondary schools where it operates to fund industrial arts programs and facilities. Many 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 metalworking and welding program at Hooker High School. The contribution provides five new welding machines enabling 40 students to acquire technical, problem-solving and STEM skills. Graduates with these skills are highly sought after in agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries prevalent in rural economies.
“We are very grateful to Seaboard Foods for funding the new Agriculture Power & Technology program with equipment and supplies. Our students will receive training that could lead to careers as welders 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 The funds enable the school to modernize badly outdated ironwork, woodworking and other farm equipment. Seventy students in the rural district will benefit from learning important technical skills, STEM and life skills using new equipment.
“We are very grateful for the grant from Seaboard Foods which will help us upgrade and purchase new tools for the Holyoke Ag Shop. We have a large number of students interested in pursuing careers in the trades, and it’s so important that they are trained on up-to-date, industry-standard equipment. This grant will allow us to do just that! said Holyoke High School FFA teacher and counselor Shauna Strecker.
Over the past twelve months, Seaboard Foods has made donations to other high school programs in the communities where it operates.
In Guymon, Okla., Seaboard Foods funded an auto mechanics program at Guymon High School. The $15,000 donation funded necessary tools, programmers, and ongoing-use supplies like oils and fluids. In addition to learning mechanical skills, the automotive mechanics program teaches technical aptitude skills through hands-on learning and hands-on experience.
Seaboard Foods donated $6,000 over three years to the Des Moines Public Schools Central Campus in Des Moines, Iowa. The donation helped teach non-traditional students with limited knowledge of agriculture and food production an overview of the livestock and animal protein industry.
Students at Elkhart High School in Elkhart, Kansas benefited from a new $2,300 plasma cutter for the machine shop program.
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 donations to school programs, Seaboard Foods also runs a scholarship program launched in October, providing $65,000 to high school students seeking further education after graduation in the 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 donated $869,000 in financial and product donations to charitable causes, including $390,500 in donations to school and sports buyout programs, community events, club donations and more.