Dr. Alice Henry, Dr. David Hall, Olivia Henry, Dr. Usman Adamu and LeVelle Henry at the Henry residence.


Legacy of Oscar E. Henry Continues at UVI’s School of Agriculture

The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) has announced
the establishment of a new partnership between its
School of Agriculture and the family of former U.S. Virgin
Islands Commissioner of Agriculture Oscar E. Henry.

The initiative continues a decades-long relationship
between the University and the Henry family and involves
the use and management of livestock and agricultural
resources located on the family estate in LaGrange,
Frederiksted, St. Croix.

Since the mid-1970s, the family farm has become a
crucial research resource for the University. The new
partnership will see the School of Agriculture maintaining
approximately 60 acres of land, including 30 Senepol
cattle, and a herd of 40 St. Croix White Hair sheep, for
research, teaching and extension activities.

“We could not be more pleased to strengthen our
longstanding partnership with the Henry family who
have been loyal partners in our shared vision to develop
the agricultural sector in the Virgin Islands,” said UVI
President, Dr. David Hall. “The agreement will provide
even greater opportunities for faculty research, student
experimental learning and community outreach,
complementing the full array of academic programs
that UVI is offering in this critical field. We look forward to
our continued collaboration.”

“This agreement with the Henry family will greatly benefit
the St. Croix community and the wider Virgin Islands
through the utilization of the farm as an Agricultural
Research, Teaching and Extension Center (ARTEC),” said
Dr. Usman Adamu, dean of UVI’s School of Agriculture
and Director of the Cooperative Extension Service (CES)
and Agricultural Experiment Station (AES), while adding
that the arrangement brings a significant enhancement
of agricultural research, teaching, and extension
opportunities for UVI students and faculty.

Reflecting on the long history of the farm and its
relationship with UVI, Olivia Henry, who was Program
Leader of the Home Economic Program within CES until
she retired from the University in 1988, expressed
immense pleasure and satisfaction with the new
partnership. “The farm was my husband’s pride and joy.
Visiting farmers from around the world always expressed
their admiration for the layout of the farm. We are excited
to see it now serve as a learning hub and to further the
legacy that my husband and I began. When I worked at
the University this was my dream,” she stated.

Farm Tour

Students enrolled in the School of Agriculture academic
programs such as agroecology, horticulture,
agrobusiness, and animal science will benefit from
hands-on experiences provided by the farm.

Having been an integral part of St. Croix’s agricultural
community for decades, the Henry family has seen
significant changes in the Territory’s agricultural
landscape and expressed concerns that people often do
not recognize the importance of the sector to every
aspect of life in the Virgin Islands.

“Agriculture is also about textiles, production and
business. My dream is to one day have an annex right
here on the farm where students can also live. The
possibilities are exciting,” said Mrs. Henry, a registered
dietitian who earned a master’s degree from Columbia
University and worked closely with the Cooperative
Extension Service to create recipes from its produce. She
is also the author of several cookbooks and a publication
on native herbs.

Since Mr. Henry passed away in 2013, eldest daughter
LeVelle has been working tirelessly to ensure the upkeep
of the farm, which entails managing the sheep, cattle
and fruit harvesting. Looking ahead, the Henrys are
optimistic about the opportunities the partnership will
bring, including the possibility for cutting-edge research
to be conducted at the farm and for students to learn
about all aspects of farming, especially advanced
technologies such as autonomous tractors, satellite
technology and drones.

“We’re not only continuing our father’s legacy but also
building on the foundation he laid,” shared Alice Henry,
who holds a doctorate in public health.

“It’s exciting that our farm will be involved in research that
benefits the community and adds to the literature within
the field of agriculture. Our father would be pleased.”

“This 10-year agreement is a win-win partnership for UVI
and the Henry family as we deepen our relationship,
which is based on our shared vision to strengthen and
enhance the Virgin Islands’ agricultural economy. We
foresee that the fruits of this partnership will significantly
help us to fulfill our three key mission areas: research,
teaching, and extension,” said Dr. Adamu.

While the Henry family collaboration is based in St. Croix,
it extends to the entire university, with a view to
addressing agricultural issues and needs across the
Virgin Islands and beyond. The Henry family farm has
been used in the past by the AES; the CES has also used
the farm for various outreach projects. The School of
Agriculture, which has access to farmland resources on
its Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix as well as at
Estate Longford, and offers four associate degree
options, five bachelor of science degrees, and six
certificates, is intent on building up its enrollment by
extending its recruitment efforts throughout the

Oscar Henry was one of the organizers of the Virgin
Islands Senepol Association, first Chairman of the
Territorial Advisory Committee of the then UVI Research
and Land-Grant Affairs, and a board member of the Soil
Conservation Service. Olivia Henry served as a Board
Member of Our Town Frederiksted and volunteered with
St. Croix School of the Arts in addition to other community


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