Ag complex gets $1 M boost

The G.C. Broughton Foundation is taking its support of the Howard College agriculture program to the next level, announcing its most recent gift of approximately $964,000 to continue development of the G.C. Broughton Ag Complex.The donation will bring the total cost to $2.1 million for the entire complex.The most recent gift will fund the construction of the Phase III education building and a Phase II air conditioning enhancement within the Agriculture Complex on the Big Spring campus. The Phase I agriculture pavilion was funded by the G. C. Broughton Foundation in the fall of 2010 and was completed and put to use in the summer of 2011.A groundbreaking ceremony took place in September 2011 for the Phase II show barn and that facility remains in the early stages of construction. The show barn will include an enclosed formal show barn and pens. “Words do not describe how excited we are about this latest development in the G.C. Broughton Ag Complex,” said Dr. Cheryl T. Sparks, president of Howard College. “When construction is completed on all three phases, we are certain this will be the premiere agriculture education facility in the area.”The complex sits between the east side of Memorial Stadium and the west side of Foundation Softball Field on the campus of Howard College.Broughton, born and raised in Big Spring, began farming as a young man on his family farm north of Big Spring and lived his life dedicated to the industry he loved. He was a self-made man, developing his farm into a large operation that spanned seven counties.Broughton also served as a member of the Howard College Foundation Board. He established his foundation in 1983 in order to continue serving the community he loved. After his death in 2001, his wife, Jean Broughton-Powell, retained leadership of the foundation and has carried out his original mission.“G.C. was committed to carrying on the tradition of agriculture in this community,” said Broughton-Powell. “Our vision is that the complex will not only provide the education piece but will also bring numerous other opportunities to the community and benefit area schools and our local ag producers.”The agriculture program at Howard College touches many lives throughout the year in addition to the traditional college credit classes and livestock judging team by working with area schools and FFA Organizations, 4-H programs and hosting lamb and goat camps.With the addition of the educational building, Howard College has visions of reaching out and increasing involvement in agricultural based initiatives and partnerships with organizations such as the Texas A&M Extension office.“We are indebted to the G.C. Broughton Foundation for their generous financial commitment to our agriculture program and to the future development of ag related initiatives for our community,” said Cash Berry, assistant professor and director of the HC Agriculture Program. “This is a great day for our agriculture community and we are proud to be a part of it.”Cindy Smith is in charge of public relations at Howard College. She can be contacted at or