Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst celebrates 100 years

Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst celebrates 100 years

August 14, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Stockbridge School of Agriculture Where knowledge is gained, lives are changed and careers established. Stockbridge graduates are the salt of the earth. Agriculture has always been at the heart of the university. Massachusetts Agricultural College was established as a land-grant college in 1863. Its goal was to promote the education of the farmer. In 1918 a two year course in practical agriculture was created and later named the Stockbridge School of Agriculture in honor of Levi Stockbridge a Mass Aggie founder, first professor of agriculture and its fifth president. I’m Jason Stockbridge. I’m the great-great-great grandson of Levi Stockbridge. He was a Renaissance man. He was a politician. He was a farmer. He just wanted to teach. He wanted everybody to learn Especially one of his sayings is is that if you feed the plant the plant will feed you. I wanted to go where somebody cared for you and I just felt that Levi Stockbridge cared for his fellow man, cared for the industry and wanted people to be better educated to grow a better crop. And I am proud, very proud and loud and proud to say that I’m happy that The Stockbridge school is celebrating one hundred years and I hope and I wish for a hundred more. They’ve educated countless numbers of professionals in all types of agriculture from florists to greenhouse, arborists and nurseries and a lot with dairy and farming. So it’s a good school and I recommend it to everybody that’s interested in it. Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst has some of the highest rated programs in the country. The school has virtually 100% job placement. Stockbridge alumni are the backbone of the farming and green industry in Massachusetts and across the country. When I was applying for college, the only school that I wanted to go to was the Stockbridge School of Agriculture because it is the best in the industry. My education with the Stockbridge School of Agriculture has brought me to Monrovia nursery company where I am in charge of maintaining 125 greenhouses of perennials and ferns for sale all over the United States. All I ever wanted to do was go to Stockbridge. It was the greatest decision I ever made. If I was starting over again, I would absolutely do it again. I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve worked all over the country, in Guatemala, four courses in Italy, and one in Japan. And I run into Stockbridge graduates at every layer of the spectrum right up to the most exclusive private clubs in the country, where they’re wild about the job that a Stockbridge graduate is doing. I think there’s a great advantage to being at a place like Stockbridge, that’s a hundred years old, one of the first turf programs in the country, that has been involved in research. All of that goes together to help you learn more. That’s what Stockbridge is. It isn’t two years–It’s your whole life! I’m Eva Grimes. I graduated from Stockbridge School of Agriculture in ’48 and I am still on the farm. I wanted to know more about cattle. Animal husbandry is what I took up. And I liked the “Little International” we got to show the animals and and I did a lot of judging and it was good. I’m a dairy farmer all the way! I’m Doug McDuff. I’m Andy McDuff. We own Landscape America and happy 100 years Stockbridge! I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else, but what I’m doing now. If it wasn’t for a Stockbridge I wouldn’t have known what that path was. And it is nice to work outside, you know and it’s nice to deal with people and it’s nice to work with people that enjoy their landscape and at the end of the day they’re so grateful that you’ve created this cool space for them. And and that’s what it’s all about. We have about 50 employees in total, I think like 26 trucks and we are on pace to do a little over 5 million dollars. We’re brothers. We own Landscape America. You need a job–Give us a call! Good morning gardeners… ( radio audio) It’s Sunday morning, and it’s time for your favorite gardener and mine Paul Parent. Everything that I learned at Stockbridge, I could use. I learned about the insects in the industry. I learned about the diseases in the industry. I learned about the shrubs, the trees, the annuals, the perennials and it gave me a really wide education so that I know a little bit about a lot of different things. The education has raised me to a place where I never thought I would be. It’s responsible for doing a radio show in 90 radio stations across the country. It’s encouraged me to do a weekly newsletter so people can take the knowledge that I learned at Stockbridge and use it for themselves in their own yard and garden It’s amazing I’ll be talking on the radio doing the gardening program and somebody will ask me a question that I haven’t heard in 50 years and all of a sudden bang it pops into my head … I’ll give them the answer and I’ll tell them on the radio I don’t know where that came from but it’s something I learned at Stockbridge back in the late 60s and it’s still in my head! That education at Stockbridge nobody can match it. I don’t care what you do. They can’t match a Stockbridge education. My name is Chris Grant. I own Grant Family Farm in Essex, Massachusetts. Being able to go to a school that has so much history involved with it, you learn from people who are the best at what they do, the smartest in their field and that are writing the textbooks that you’re learning out of. It’s definitely something that you take pride in. The amount that you can learn in just four semesters or two years is so much more than most students get out of their own four year degree and the employability of somebody getting out of Stockbridge is so much greater than than somebody who goes to school for four years and doesn’t really know what they want to do or be when they grow up. We definitely need more young people who are interested in farming and agriculture because I mean the average American is two to three generations off the farm and they’re getting further and further away from where their food comes from. And there are still farms in Massachusetts. Definitely educating people and and trying to show them that there are good jobs in agriculture and I have one of them! Hi, I’m Gretchen Foster from Wildwood Farm and I’m Megan Hildreth from Wildwood Farm. Happy hundredth anniversary Stockbridge! We’ve been a Stockbridge family for many years. My father graduated in 1958. I graduated in 1992 from equine industries and then my daughter Megan graduated in 2015 from equine business management. So we have 20 horses. We have 10 boarders, 10 lesson horses and some of our own horses. And I just run the lesson program. It’s very successful. You do give up 24/7. It’s very hard to get time off, but it’s very rewarding. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I definitely would recommend Stockbridge to anyone. It was a great experience for all three of us in our family. It’s totally a family environment and a lifelong family environment because again, I still talked to some of the professors I see them at professional trade events and it’s just just awesome when I see them and it’s like seeing you know a family member. Mayer Tree here is probably in about our 23rd year. It was really formed by you know myself and some of the guys that I went to school with. We might be, you know, 50 or 70 guys, but we really do the work of many more, just because of the equipment the way we’re outfitted. We’re probably up over 300 registered vehicles now, so, you know. So anyway there are trees or landscape which makes it everywhere There’s always work for Stockbridge, and if you get into trees and the technical aspect of it again, there’s limitless amounts of work. We’ve been to different storm recovery projects. We hold a contract currently with Central Park in New York City and we have for several years now. So we were actually in Central Park before Sandy hit and the guys were in the park as the trees started to come down just because it’s such an important place to have open with the amount of population that needs that park. So we were there and we stayed for four weeks to get it all cleaned up. We’re really the source for clearing roads when trees go down or making sure Gillette looks beautiful and the Red Sox, you know Fenway looks beautiful. It usually comes back to a ‘stockie’ in there, involved in there somewhere. You know, we do the difficult everyday but it’s the impossible that we love doing. We certainly have more mouths to feed more farming… Stockbridge has got to be more important than ever– 100 times more important today than it was 100 years ago! I’m Jeff Bober. This is my wife Lenita Bober. We’re proud owners of Blossoming Acres in Southwick Massachusetts. At this point we raised about 100 acres of vegetables The Stockbridge School of Agriculture seemed like a natural fit for me to continue to do what I like to do and be outside all day long. I chose to go to Stockbridge because I grew up on A farm and wanted to farm full-time in some capacity. We have a full roadside stand with vegetables, flowers, and the store is open year-round and we have a full bakery in the farm stand. Our specialty is pies. I do about 3,000 pies for Thanksgiving week. We do three farmers markets a week We met at Stockbridge. We just met through friends. Yeah. Yeah Stockbridge functions… One thing led to another and before you know it we were married. Stockbridge was definitely a great base to help us visualize what we wanted to do and how to get there. Stockbridge made me. You can go anywhere. You can start a farm if you want, raise vegetables raise fruit trees. You get all that education right there at Stockbridge. I majored in landscape and i wound up being a multi-millionaire. It proves without a doubt, without any doubt whatsoever how good and strong and how worthwhile Stockbridge was or it would never have met a hundred years If you like trees, If you like plants, if you like animals and you’re passionate about the earth and finding a way to make a difference and change the world… you know it all starts … It all starts at Stockbridge! I was able to have my own company and make make a great living. Stockbridge was a huge turning point It’s been the foundation of everything I’ve done since. Happy birthday Stockbridge! Happy birthday Stockbridge! My name is Norberto Marrero, and I graduated from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture in 2018 with a degree in aboriculture and community forestry. Realistically speaking there’s so much money in this industry. Whether you’re looking for money or your looking for happiness… you can find them both. And I think Stockbridge takes you to that place and opens that door. Many of the tree companies in New England especially in Massachusetts are owned by Stockbridge alums. So you’re guaranteed a job when you graduate, which is like a lot of stress off your back. Stockbridge is such a versatile school that you can end up anywhere– places that you wouldn’t even imagine. I’m so happy I’m like here for that. I graduated in the hundredth year of Stockbridge. How many people could say that! (Taj Mahal sings excerpts from “Kaneohe Bay”) Hi, this is Taj Mahal Can I wish to stop wish the Stockbridge School of Agriculture a happy 100th birthday? Oh yes, I can! Happy birthday Stockbridge one hundred years in the making and another hundred to go. I majored in animal husbandry minored in veterinary science and agronomy. How valuable was my Stockbridge education? Well, you know let me put it this way. I put it right up there with oxygen! There is an independent spirit that you learned through Stockbridge that I really found myself being a part of. And that’s always you know I’ve always been able to do it and go my own way. No, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am a huge supporter of the family farm, the smaller farm I’m also asupporter of farm-to-table. Now’s the time for us to really pay attention to diversified farming and don’t be scared because the big boys are out there. You know find your space, find your audience, find your constituents, find your your customers and serve them well. I didn’t have the money to buy a farm and I didn’t really want to work for somebody else for the rest of my life. The music started peeling off a little bit a little bit at a time and I started getting better and looking like I could make a living at it. And most people can’t make a living at music. So I just went my own way and developed an audience so that I could play all the time, you know play to them and tour and that was what it was all about for me! The experiences I had at Stockbridge have been with me since I’ve been 18 and 19 years old and It’s near and dear to me Almost as near and dear to me as my Stockbridge sweatshirt My neighbor across the street says to me “Brian, you must really love that sweatshirt” and I said- “No Roger, you’ve got it really wrong. I really love this place!” I hope they can continue. Stockbridge is a good school. As long as the politicians don’t get too involved! Happy birthday Stockbridge! Hope we have some more years to go! Happy 100th birthday, Cheers! Happy 100th anniversary Stockbridge! Happy 100th Stockbridge! Happy 100th anniversary, birthday- do it again! what so you want to do birthday or anniversary?? Happy hundredth! Happy… Happy 100th ! Happy 100th anniversary!! Go Aggies!! Perfect! I’m proud of Stockbridge because I’ve been wearing my ring For 50 years. That’s how much I love it and everybody asks me Would you go to school? right here, Stockbridge, University of Massachusetts