Highland agriculture program finishes busy 2015-2016 school year

The Highland Agriculture program had a successful year through the involvement in various agriculture-related competitions and having a bigger presence in the community. The Agriculture program began the 2015-2016 school year with the return of the Highland Dairy Judging Team. The team was coached by Kristi Dinderman and members included Jalen Holman, Ellie Lenkaitis, Justin Lott, Jennifer Saieva, and Katlynn Sprague.

Through the generous support of local sponsors, the team participated in the Accelerated Genetics and World Dairy Expo contests. The Highland Agriculture program would like to thank our sponsors of the 2015-2016 Dairy Judging Team; 1st Farm Credit Services, Furst McNess, Hunter Haven Farms, Stephenson Service Company, Scheidairy Farms, Jo Daviess County Farm Bureau, Midwest Bank, and Vita-Plus. This coming fall the team plans to add a few more contests to the schedule.

Once again this year, the Highland Ag Club participated in the Post-Secondary Agriculture (PAS) student organization activities at the state level, both in the fall and spring semesters. This year, three students participated in the National PAS Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, March 15-19.  Michaela White placed third in the National Agricultural Sales Presentation Award Area, Danielle Hinshaw participated in the Floriculture Employment Interview, and Heidi Smith participated in the Agribusiness Management and Marketing Career Planning Project. The Highland AG Club would like to thank the State Bank of Freeport for sponsoring the PAS activities. 

New to Ag Club this year was the creation of the HCC Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter. The chapter attended the Illinois Farm Bureau annual meeting at the Palmer House in Chicago December 5-6 and the Young Leaders Conference in East Peoria January 22-23. Both opportunities allowed students to network with other farm bureau members from across the state as well as understand the role the farm bureau has in policy development. 

In the classroom, the Agriculture program continued to expand its offerings in the areas of livestock, crops, and agribusiness. Last fall students took Introduction to Animal Science, Soil Science, Livestock/Dairy Management, and Dairy Evaluation.  Two new courses were introduced; Introduction to Agricultural Education to encourage students to consider a career in teaching agriculture, as well as Agricultural Occupations for incoming freshman that focused on resume building, internship preparation, and career planning.

In the spring, the department offered Field Crop Science, Agricultural Economics, Farm Business Records, Agricultural Policy, Livestock/Dairy Production, Agricultural Mechanics, and Artificial Insemination. This fall students will be able to take Introduction to Animal Science, Soil Science, Livestock Facilities and Waste Management, Agricultural Finance, Dairy Evaluation, Livestock Evaluation, Introductory Horticulture, and a new class called Precision Farming Technology that will focus on the basics of technology use in agricultural production. 

Finally, the support from our local producers, businesses, and agricultural organizations are essential for the continued progress of the agriculture program.  Thank you to Citizens State Bank for the donation of funds for the UAV and iPads, the Ogle County Farm Bureau, Stephenson County Farm Bureau, and Forreston State Bank for donation of funds for an upcoming agricultural test plot, and the Pearl City Elevator for a donation to upgrade the soils testing lab. If you have any questions in regards to the Highland Community College Agriculture Department please contact Justin Ebert at

(left to right) Coach Kristi Dinderman, Jen Saieva, Jalen Holman, Katlynn Sprague and Justin Lott

(left to right) Michaela White, Danielle Hinshaw and Heidi Smith

2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

Fax 815-235-6130

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