As part of a commitment to education and environmental stewardship, Perdue Farms has awarded the Wilkes Soil & Water Conservation District a $50,000 Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation grant to support its Mobile Soils Classroom program in Wilksboro, N.C. The donation from Perdue’s charitable giving arm is part of the company’s Delivering Hope to Our Neighbors initiative focused on improving quality of life and building strong communities.

Wilkes County Soil & Water Conservation District (Wilkes SWCD) aims to educate students and staff about soil, water, and other natural resources. SWCD currently reaches 15,800 students and 500 teachers per academic year.

The funds will support a 24-foot enclosed Mobile Soils Classroom that will offers students and teachers an interactive, walk-through learning experience related to soil and its role in the ecosystem and their lives, said Rob Baldwin, Wilkes SWCD director.

“Soil makes our lives possible. We build, play, drive, and eat food grown or raised on soils,” he said. “However, 90 percent of students and even educators refer to soil as dirt, not knowing its importance and the crucial role it plays in their lives.” 

Wilkes SWCD uses education to stress the importance of natural resources and offers technical and financial assistance to best conserve these resources.

“Within one year, the mobile classroom will be used at six regional education events and will be available to the additional 95 conservation districts in North Carolina to use,” Baldwin said.

Kim Nechay, executive director of the Perdue Foundation, praised the district for its innovative teaching.

“There is no better way to educate children than with hands-on, experiential learning. This van will help the Wilkes Soil and Water Conservation District do just that,” she said. “The fun educational programming will provide so many opportunities to learn. We are proud to be able to help make it happen.”

Source: Perdue Farms