By Jeff Wilson
Paul Georgy’s decision to donate $50,000 was based largely on his passion for SIU Farms and his hope to inspire a new generation of students and alumni.
“Alumni can step up and get stuff done,” he said. “We can make a nice home for the livestock. We can get more hands-on opportunities for the students and open some eyes to the farms.”
For two current students, the impact of Georgy’s gift is already being felt. Not only has it brought new livestock to the farms, it’s strengthened their Saluki spirits.
IMPROVED STUDENT EXPERIENCE
Chloe Buchanan and Logan Kennard share a passion for livestock and agriculture. A chance to learn and work at SIU Farms is what drew each of them to SIU.
“The opportunity to learn hands-on at the farms gives SIU students the upper hand when it comes to job placement or admission into higher levels of education, such as veterinarian school or master’s programs,” said Buchanan, a senior from Fort Wayne, Indiana. “The farms have always been a special place for me because I have always felt welcome and comfortable there.”
Both Buchanan and Kennard are members of the Livestock Judging Team. Kennard, a senior from Mount Carmel, is the team president.
“The new pigs will make it easier for us to practice,” Kennard said. “Previously, the swine center only had pigs with production-oriented genetics. There is a divide between show stock and production stock. Having show-quality pigs will allow us to practice on campus instead of traveling or relying on Web-based classes.”
A DEEP APPRECIATION
SIU Farms will continue feeling the effect of Georgy’s gift long after the delivery of the new pigs and cattle.
The importance of the donation has made an impression on everyone connected to the beef and swine centers.
“Knowing that there are alumni and supporters whose lives were changed by the farms – just like mine had been – is something that keeps me going,” Buchanan said. “It’s just another reason I’m so thankful that I go to SIU.”
Beyond adding better pigs, more cattle, raising money for much-needed repairs and improvements and improving the experience of the Livestock Judging Team, Georgy’s donation will help ensure SIU Farms continues to offer a unique experience to students.
“This gift truly speaks to the influence of the program,” Kennard said. “To see that people are willing to donate their hard-earned money to the college proves to me that SIU was the right choice.”