The State of Georgia has included $2.5M in its supplemental budget to fund a meat processing plant to be located at the district’s newly added Agribusiness Center. While providing career pathways for students who have an interest in agriculture and meat processing, the plant will also enable the district to process its own protein in times of scarcity. The new facility will also give the school system the ability to work directly with local farmers rather than multinational meat companies.

Terry England, R-Auburn, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, stated, “This pilot program is an investment in the future of Hall County and all of Georgia. With agriculture being the number one industry in our state—the backbone our economy—why would we not look for innovative opportunities to provide our young people with the skills they need to thrive in that industry? Furthermore, this facility will support local beef farmers by giving them an option for processing. It’s going to be a model that hopefully other school systems will follow.”

“I congratulate Superintendent Will Schofield for successfully pursuing and receiving state funding for this innovative project,” said Representative Lee Hawkins (R), 27th District. “He contacted me a few months ago about the idea of providing protein for the Hall County School System through a teaching program for meat cutting that would utilize a school facility and local farmers. I am proud to have worked with him to obtain the partial state funding to match our local funding for the future of our students and our community.”

“We are excited about this opportunity,” said Superintendent Will Schofield. “There are so many young people in our area who have a passion for agriculture and agricultural science. “This new facility will be yet another venue where they can acquire job ready skills for high paying occupations immediately after graduation. We are grateful for this funding and the opportunity it provides.”