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    Planters Bank donates to Murray State University’s A.C.R.E.S. campaign

    Planters Bank recently donated $6,000 to Murray State University’s Agriculture Campaign for Research and Education of Students (A.C.R.E.S.) in order to continue investing in the education and success of students at Murray State University.

    A.C.R.E.S. is an effort to raise $1.5 million toward the purchase of a 250 acre research and laboratory farm, equipment, buildings, fences, advanced technologies and other farm improvements.

    Fifteen years ago, Planters Bank was founded by a group of local business leaders and investors who felt it was important for Hopkinsville and Christian County to retain a smart, progressive, local bank. Since first opening its doors, Planters Bank has made a name for itself as an energetic player in the financial market. Contributing to their success is the ability to leverage the flexibility associated with being locally owned and operated with a strong focus on service. Planters Bank currently has eight full service locations serving Hopkinsville, Ky. and Clarksville, Tenn.

    Elizabeth McCoy, Planters Bank President and CEO, said Planters Bank is proud to continue their commitment to serving others by donating to Murray State University.

    "Agriculture is a driving force in our economy,” McCoy said. “Planters Bank wants to invest in the development of future agriculture leaders. With the presence of the Breathitt Veterinary Diagnostic Center and Murray State's regional campus in our community, this will further strengthen the agriculture workforce for future generations."‬

    Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said corporate and individual donor support for the A.C.R.E.S. campaign is continuing to grow and is vital to the success of the campaign as it is critical to have broad based, industry wide support.
    Brannon said he and his students are thankful for donors like Planters Bank who are willing to donate to this important cause.
    “We are deeply appreciative of Planters Bank for making this gift in support of our ACRES campaign,” Brannon said.
    The new University farm will allow the Hutson School of Agriculture to significantly expand their crop production laboratory which will allow for field trials in addition to small plot work and allow MSU agriculture to interface even more closely with the agricultural industry. The University farm will also offer significant employment opportunities for students.
    “The main goal of having university farms is to help educate our students,” Brannon said. “Due to the limited farm experience of many of our students, the availability of expanded university farm laboratories becomes an even more critical part of their education. Even though most of today's students won't be farm owners, hands-on-farming experience and awareness is an important part of their education and preparation for careers that directly relate to the production and agribusiness sector of agriculture. Proudly, many of our past graduates have gone to work in the financial services area.”
    Brannon said the Hutson School of Agriculture has grown tremendously in terms of students, programs and laboratory needs. The school currently has 771 students, an overall 7.83% increase in 2010 alone. The Murray State Hutson School of Agriculture is the second largest program in the state but its student to acre ratio is the lowest in Kentucky and in the five state service region. However, with help from donors like Planters Bank, the Hutson School of Agriculture will be able to educate students more effectively by allowing them hands-on experience working in the farm.

    Individuals wishing to give to the A.C.R.E.S. campaign can donate a tax deductable gift that will be used to purchase farm acreage and improvements and can be pledged over a five year period.