Farming Again at Milo
When Eugene Mitchell, a local career farmer, approached the Milo Adventist Academy maintenance/grounds managers and asked whose job it was to keep up the farm, they responded, “The job’s yours!” At the time he wasn’t sure he even wanted the job, but he felt God’s leading and decided to accept the position.
Since he became the farm manager, Milo has seen many improvements. The old farm buildings are being cleaned, blackberry brambles cleared out, and even the chicken coop has been repainted. Student workers have gathered pipes to make a fully functional irrigation system. Although the fields have been rented to local farmers in the past, Milo is now harvesting and selling its own hay.
The farm's profits will help to maintain or lower tuition rates. Currently five students are employed, and if the greenhouses are put to use, many more students may be hired.
The benefits are spiritual and educational as well. Mitchell is already known for sharing spiritual lessons from the plants and animals as he works with the students, and he is never too busy for special prayer. He wants them to learn life skills from the farm such as hard work and patience.
Mitchell dreams of including an agricultural curriculum to enrich students’ education in God’s plan of caring for the earth and providing food and crops for others. “We would like to add 30 to 50 acres to the present 120 acres of hay land,” he says. “One goal is to grow enough produce for the school and its surrounding community. I would also like to add other animals such as cows, chickens and sheep to our existing horse program so Milo can have a real farm environment. ”With forest resources on the property, a timber management program could be included in the new agricultural curriculum.
Mitchell says his favorite things about working on the farm are “to see things grow and the young people with their cheerful working habits and love for God.”