The tech farm has been Benny Robberson’s workplace for the past 37 years, but it has been his home for even longer.
Robberson is the farm’s foreman, which is a role that his father, Clarence Robberson, held for four decades. Benny grew up on the Farm, helping his father when he could.
“When I was in school, just a kid, you know, soon as I get home from school I would go out and you know, try to find my dad working,” Benny said.
“And I’d always be doing something on the Farm, playing out in the field or out by the cows or something.”
The years spent on the farm endeared him to the land.
“Well, there is a connection, you know, being raised on this farm…I don’t know if this sounds right or not, but it almost, you know, feels like it’s mine. I mean it’s not, but you kind of have that bond since I was raised here,” Benny said.
Benny took some trade school classes in heavy machine operation at the institution that would eventually become the University of Arkansas at Morrilton, but did not end up in that industry.
“At that time construction was pretty slow, this was in ‘79, and so I did not pursue it. The only jobs that I found available were out of state and I wasn’t willing to relocate so I stayed with the Farm.”
Benny’s 37 years of experience doesn’t include the part time work that he did on the Farm while in trade school. Working on the Tech farm is the only job that Benny has ever had.
Benny has responsibility over the beef operations, swine operations, greenhouses, and other farm operations. The farm consist of two plots of land: one that is northwest of Tech’s campus (next to the facilities plant) and one to that is east of campus (across Arkansas Avenue).
He supervises one other full time farm employee and several student workers.
Paul Bennett, agriculture business major from Roseville, has been working alongside Benny as a student worker for about two years. He described Benny as a hard-working supervisor.
“Well, he’s not afraid to get in there and work,” Paul said. “Probably an easier way to say that is Benny wouldn’t tell me to do something that he wouldn’t do hisself.”
Benny’s positivity, Paul says, is a constant.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that guy be negative about something,” Bennett said. “He’s very centered around his religion and his family.”
Bennett said the farm that Benny is responsible for is crucial to his agriculture education.
“The farm not only allows us a place to work and practice what we’re taught in the classroom, it’s actually our lab facility out there.”