TURKEY – Students from the University of Mount Olive AGE 211 crop science class recently visited two Sampson County farms to see crop production and harvesting first hand and to learn about the latest technology in precision agriculture.  The class visited Hudson Farms and Matthews Farms.

Jart and Cece Hudson of Turkey talked with the students and actually toured them through all aspects of the peanut harvesting process from the digging, to the harvesting, to the drying, to the processing plant.  Students also learned from Hudson farms that diversification is the key to any successful farming operation. Jart Hudson, a fourth generation farmer, grows more than 1,000 acres of peanuts, is co-owner of a peanut buying point in Warsaw, NC, and his farming operation also includes large acreages of tobacco, corn, and wheat, plus a hog finishing operation.

Agriculture education major Jacob Fipps, a sophomore from Dunn, NC, said, “Visiting the farms in this class is a good resource to use.  Mr. Hudson provided us the opportunity to see the production and processing of peanuts from start to finish.”

David Matthews of Matthews Farms in Turkey planned a hands-on experiential learning opportunity for the students which included hearing a presentation from one of the leading experts in precision agriculture; being introduced to members of the local Cape Fear Farm Credit Union; and seeing and participating in peanut and soybean harvesting.  Students also had the opportunity to fly a drone used for crop monitoring and see some of the latest technology offered in agriculture.

“It was great to go on the Matthews farm tour and see things from the farmer’s perspective –  the production side of things,” said agriculture education major Sarah Harkey a sophomore from Mount Pleasant, NC.  “It was also neat to ride in a combine and fly the drone.  I learned so much from this experience that I would never have gotten from a textbook.”

Amy Johnson, assistant professor of agriculture education at UMO, said, “We are extremely grateful to farmers  like David Matthews and Jart Hudson that take time out of their busy schedules to share their practical knowledge with us.  The students learn more from spending a couple hours with these farmers than I can ever teach them in class.  Without the farmers’ help, this class would be just another crop science class like you would get at any other university.  However, because of our location and with the help of farmers like Jart Hudson and David Matthews, we are exposing our students to information and opportunities that large land grant institutions cannot provide.”

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit

Jart Hudson (left) talks with UMO crop science students about the importance of knowing when to harvest peanuts.

David Matthews (far right) demonstrates the use of a drone in crop monitoring to UMO crop science students.