College News

No Small Potatoes: PCC Students donate to Give Me Five nonprofit organization

Published Tuesday, November 26, 2019
by Elizabeth Townsend

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Recently, nearly 100 pounds of sweet potatoes were donated to the "Give Me Five" project by the Piedmont Community College (PCC) students in the Agribusiness Technology program.

Melissa Robbins, co-founder of "Give Me Five" and Executive Director of Title III programs at PCC, is grateful to the students and instructors who made this possible and speaks in support of this initiative on behalf of both organizations. "Community and service learning are essential pieces in teaching and learning... students learn to value the concept of giving back and paying it forward, which makes them more sociably responsible and globally aware."

Sweet potato donation by PCC's Agribusiness programThrough PCC’s Agribusiness Technology program, students learn the fundamentals of agriculture, with emphasis placed on entrepreneurial and field training, as well as the basics of our economic system and government policies and programs relating to agriculture.

Agribusiness students attain techniques in the classroom and put their lessons into practice on farm land located in Caswell County. The hands-on experience is vital and includes all areas of planting, tending, growing, and harvesting many fruits and vegetables.

This year, faculty incorporated service learning in the program by donating cultivated items to the Give Me Five organization, as well as other local groups. This specific donation impacted veterans of Southside Virginia along with other needy families in the area through the Brookneal Emergency Association Missions (BEAM).

About Give Me Five:

Give Me Five is a new nonprofit with the intent of collecting, organizing, and distributing food items and personal care items to homeless veterans and their families in North Carolina, Southside Virginia, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. areas.

Rick Mann, co-founder of Give Me Five hopes this most recent donation will spark a crusade. "We would like to see this eventually evolve into a national movement that helps many thousands of veterans. We have to start somewhere, so we’re asking our local communities, churches, civic organizations, etc. to get involved and help these folks who stepped up to protect us and now need our help.” Learn more at

Agribusiness Technology classes available in Spring semester:
Interested in learning more about the agribusiness industry? Get started with PCC’s hands-on program, offered in Caswell County. Upcoming classes include:

Plant Science: M– F, 7:45 – 9:30 a.m. / Lab on M & W, 10 – 11 a.m.
• Introduces the basic principles of botany that pertain to agricultural production. Emphasis is placed on the anatomy and physiology of flowering plants.

Basic Farm Maintenance: M & W, 12 – 12:30 p.m.
• Covers fundamentals of maintenance and repair of farm facilities and equipment. Topics include safe use of hand tools and farm machinery, carpentry, concrete, painting, wiring, welding, plumbing, and calculating costs and materials needed.

Agricultural Marketing: M & W, 2 – 3:15 p.m.
• Encompasses basic marketing principles for agricultural products. Topics include buying, selling, processing, standardizing, grading, storing, and marketing of agricultural commodities.

Ag Law & Finance: Tu & Th, 10 – 11:15 a.m.
• Involves the basic laws and financial aspects affecting agriculture. Topics include environmental laws, labor laws, contractual business operations, assets, liabilities, net worth, and funding sources.

Alternative Ag Production: Tu & Th, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

• Embraces the latest nontraditional enterprises in agriculture. Topics include animal production, aquaculture, and plant production.

Weed ID & Control: Tu & Th, 1 – 3 p.m.
• Introduces the annual and perennial weeds of economic importance in the southeast. Topics include the life cycles, flowering habits, identification, and control of various weeds in the Southeast.

For more information on the Agribusiness Technology program, contact Kin Watlington, Program Coordinator/Instructor at (336) 694-8090 or or visit

Photo: Give Me Five co-founder Rick Mann with Pastor Matt Kilmon of BEAM. The organizations worked with Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Agribusiness students when nearly 100 pounds of sweet potatoes were donated as part of the College’s service learning project.

11-26 Mann & Kilmon -Ag Service Learning.jpg