BISD and BASF Plant Orchard at Agriculture Farm
Beaumont ISD Future Farmers of America (FFA) students and BASF corporate volunteers planted an orchard of over 200 fruit trees March 10, 2017. The orchard is sponsored by BASF. Thirty students from West Brook High School's FFA, along with over 20 volunteers from BASF, helped plant the trees. BISD is the only district in the state of Texas with a full-scale working orchard.
The BISD agriculture department has partnerships with a number of local companies including BASF. Laura Austin, Human Resources Director for BASF Beaumont, contacted BISD agricultural education program director Will Humber in the fall regarding a partnership. "BASF, which is one of the largest agricultural chemical companies in the world, and the BISD agriculture department are a natural partnership," said Humber. "Along with purchasing over 200 fruit and citrus trees, BASF also made a $4,500 donation to the agriculture department and West Brook High School FFA chapter."
The BISD agriculture farm, located at 6150 North Keith Road in Beaumont, is a 30-acre campus that is 100% solar powered; the fruit orchard covers approximately three acres. Next fall, a one-acre vegetable garden will be added. The farm also contains a 2.5 million dollar livestock barn that is state-of-the-art. There is currently a hay pasture that is baled annually, along with two large animal pastures. There have been three beef cattle donated to the farm and they are looking for even more to build a beef herd. "We would also like to begin a goat production operation, as well as a swine production enterprise," said Humber. "This will allow our students the opportunity to afford livestock projects that they will be able to own, maintain, and show for considerably less than market value."