Seprod Foundation honoured and celebrated the legacy of the late Dr Richard Jones by naming the foundation’s agriculture and veterinary scholarships after him.
The Dr Richard Jones Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Panel Discussion took place on Thursday, April 14 via Zoom.
For over a decade, Jones was the Deputy Chairman of Seprod Limited, and the Chairman of the Coconut Industry Board, the largest shareholder when Seprod Limited started operations in 1940. He was a significant contributor to the veterinary science industry and a giant in Portland and St Thomas Communities.
“Dr Richard Jones was a man of integrity, someone of substance and a pillar of support within the seprod directorship and community. He brought a lot of stability to the board” remarked P.B. Scott, Chairman of the Board of Seprod Limited. According to Byron Thompson, former CEO of Seprod Limited, “Dr Jones was a visionary and a strategic thinker. He was instrumental in all our acquisitions and strategies for growth and expansion.” Deputy Chairman of the Seprod Board, Peter John Thwaites, remembered Dr Jones as someone who always honoured the need for a good education.
Denny Palmer, a local farmer and community leader in Manchioneal, and a friend of Jones, spoke to Jones’ community spirit, sharing memories of his kindness when he would regularly treat animals in the community at no cost to the farmers – “He was a total, complete community person. He loved people. He loved farming.”
The event featured a special remembrance of the beloved veterinary and community stalwart, the award presentations to five accomplished students at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) – Antonio Spence, Camille Lindo, Carlos Reid, Jeneica Tucker and Britannia Facey – and a timely and thought-provoking discussion on the theme of ‘Food Security: The Challenges and Opportunities in AgriBusiness’ featuring industry leaders.
Nicholas Jones, CEO of Fred M Jones Estates and member of the board of Seprod Limited shared a key takeaway from the life of Jones with the scholars.
He said: “Know where you are coming from, ask yourself what you can do to help the communities from which you are from. Bring your professional perspective to the table. It is not only about climbing the ladder and earning the money. In a small country such as ours, it is very important to have a community sense. I think this was exemplified by Dr Jones.”
Denny Palmer continued “To all the scholars, you have a responsibility to yourself and to your community. At the end of the day, you will not be remembered for what you achieved by yourself, but what you have helped others to achieve.”
Seprod Foundation aims to promote food security in Jamaica by encouraging and fostering interest in agriculture at the secondary and tertiary school levels. Seprod Foundation also supports an agriculture programme at the primary school level through the Seprod Foundation Budding Farmers Grow Club.