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High Schoolers Invent Spice Mix

A group of Pearl River High School students have invented a seasoning that soon may be in a store near you. WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano takes us behind the scenes of the one-of-a-kind operation.

It’s a popular labor of love. About half of the students at Pearl River High want to get in to the school’s year-round Future Farmers of America program. It’s been around since the late 60’s teaching students agricultural and vocational skills, yet this year there is something special in the air at their meat processing facility.

Agriscience teacher Billy Mayfield says, “We’re just now starting to talk to some grocers about carrying the rub for us.”

Mayfield says over the past four or five years students have been perfecting a spice blend. They’ve been adding a bit of this and a bit of that to come up with something so unique, so special that they couldn’t keep it to themselves.

“We would put meat in the smoker and it would be ready the next morning and we’d try it,” explains Mayfield, “As they tasted it they said I like it if it were a little hotter, or if it had a little more of this or that, and they helped us formulate the recipe, and then people started talking. The kids started talking.”

Junior James Bennett says, “It’s been outstanding to have your name on something that might take off really fast, which it has, and to have your name on something like that it makes you feel really good.”

A year and a half after the recipe was finalized Rebel Rub was professionally packaged. This past October they received their first shipment. It’s just one of the ways Pearl River’s FFA program is changing lives.

Senior Matalyn Stark says, “It’s become basically my life. It helps me make decisions to where I’m going to college and what I want to be when i grow up.”

Students say the spice blend can be used on all your meats, potatoes, French fries and salads.

One can sells for $4, or you can but three for $10. Right now they are only available at Pearl River High School of through FFA members, but that may soon change.


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