NCTC open agriculture center

The family of Henry Spaeth joined NCTC administration and faculty and members of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting Wednesday at the Henry Spaeth Agriculture Center on the NCTC Gainesville campus.

The newest building on the Gainesville campus of North Central Texas College was officially dedicated on March 25 with a special ceremony.

A grand opening and dedication ceremony for the Henry Spaeth Agriculture Center was held at the new building, which sits on Bonner Road just west of the main campus.

The 3,400 square-foot facility includes classrooms, a lab, restrooms and offices for faculty and staff of the NCTC Agriculture department. It sits next to the greenhouse used by Horticulture classes and is also located close to the NCTC Equine Center.

The Spaeth family has always been a big supporter of the Agriculture program at NCTC. David and Lou Ann Spaeth, Henry’s son and daughter-in-law, have donated more than $200,000 to fund scholarships for Ag students attending NCTC.

Henry Spaeth devoted more than 70 years of his life to the agricultural industry and was a strong supporter of education and of North Central Texas College. Henry Spaeth, who passed away in August 1999 at age 78, had been a devoted member of the NCTC Foundation’s Board of Directors.  Henry’s son, David currently serves as a member of the Foundation Board and has continued Henry’s tradition of working persistently to provide resources for NCTC students.

Since Henry’s parents were farmers, he was intimately associated with farming and ranching literally all of his life. After being named Salutatorian of his graduating class at Lindsay High School, Henry attended a business college in Dallas and then served for a time as bookkeeper for Herr Motor Company, at that time the Ford dealership in Muenster, prior to taking over operation of the family farm.

After the Army took over the family farm to construct Camp Howze upon the outbreak of World War II, Henry moved to the Spring Creek area where he continued farming until his retirement. Over the years, he raised cattle and sheep as well as alfalfa and several small grain crops including wheat, oats and barley.

Henry Spaeth received the Zone IV Upper Elm-Red Soil and Water Conservation Award in 1998 and was one of the originators of the Red River Farm Co-op.

NCTC President Dr. Brent Wallace recognized members of the Spaeth family, including David and Lou Ann; Henry’s wife Mickey Spaeth; his daughter Patsy Henry; and his grandchildren George and Bernice Spaeth, John and Michelle Spaeth, Jason and Brenda Clark, Michael and Lesley Henry, Kimberly Henry, Brian Henry and Jason Henry.

Dr. Wallace then presented a plaque to David Spaeth that will hang in the lobby of the Henry Spaeth Agriculture Center.

NCTC Agriculture Department Chairman Steven Keith introduced the faculty and staff of his department and also recognized members of the agriculture advisory committee, the equine advisory committee and the horticulture advisory committee.

Debbie Sharp, the NCTC Vice-President of Advancement and External Relations, introduced public officials and dignitaries who were on hand for the dedication.

NCTC Vice-President of Instruction Dr. Andrew Fisher gave the audience an overview of the Agriculture programs at the college and spoke about the impact the new facility will have on new program offerings and training.

Robbie Baugh, the Associate Vice-President of Campus Operations, recognized groups and individuals who were instrumental in the design and construction of the facility including contractors, engineers, architects and NCTC staff.

Finally, Dr. Wallace, along with members of the NCTC Board of Regents, Keith, Dr. Fisher, members of the Spaeth family and members of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce participated in the official ribbon cutting for the new facility.

Guests attending the ceremony were then able to take a tour of the building and grounds with NCTC Agriculture students and staff answering questions.

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