Skip to Content

Highland Agriculture has Success at 2023 Illinois PAS Conference

The 2023 Illinois Professional Agricultural Student Organization (PAS) Conference was held on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, at Hancock Stadium on the campus of Illinois State University.  Twenty Highland Community College Agriculture students participated in the one-day event.

While in attendance students from across the state competed in several competitions. Competitions included employment interviews, career planning project presentations, agricultural sales presentations, agricultural teaching demonstrations, and knowledge-based exams and practicums in the areas of crop science, landscape horticulture, farm business management and equine science. 

To prepare for the conference students complete resumes, career planning projects, lesson plans, sales presentations, and study content-related materials. 

“Students did a great job of preparing materials to compete against their peers from other colleges across Illinois. This competition allows students to work on developing soft skills needed to secure employment in the Agriculture Industry,” Justin Ebert, HCC Agriculture Instructor.

Professional Agriculture Students (PAS) Organization is a national student organization that provides opportunities for college agriculture students to experience individual growth, leadership and career preparation through competition and cooperative activities.  Below are the individual results from the 2023 Illinois PAS Fall Conference.

– Sara Johnson: Agricultural Education Teaching Demonstration, First Place, Agricultural Education Employment Interview

– Zorie McNamara: Agriculture Sales Employment Interview, First Place

– Taylor Robinson: Agricultural Education Career Planning Project, First Place

– Hannah Visel: Animal Systems Career Progress Project, First Place; Equine Specialist Individual        First Place

– Madison Simms: Plant Systems Career Planning Project, Second Place, Agronomic Production Employment Interview

– Morgan Winebaugh: Power, Structural, Tech Career Planning Project, Second Place

– Isabella Forbes: Animal Systems Career Planning Project, Third Place, Livestock/Dairy Services Employment Interview

– Jason Niemann: Agribusiness Systems Career Planning Project, Third Place

– Aaliyah Whitney: Agribusiness Administration Employment Interview, Third Place, Agribusiness Systems Career Planning Project

– Karlee Etchberger: Agriculture Sales Employment Interview

– Hayden Ruter: Agriculture Equipment/Machinery Interview        

– Magen Busker: Livestock/Dairy Production Employment Interview                     

– Ethan Pratt: Agronomic Services Employment Interview              

– Zoe Newton: Livestock/Dairy Services Employment Interview, Animal Systems Career Planning Project

Highland’s Equine Science team consisting of Hannah Visel, Carissa Minx, Zoe Newton, Hayden Ruter, Taylor Robinsion, and Liberty Hayes finished in third place in the team competitions. Kayden Clark, Hayden Ruter, and Casey Moore participated in the Crop Production contest. Dylan Lewis, Casey Moore, and Kayden Clark participated in the Landscape Design contest. The Farm Business Management team consisted of Ethan Pratt, Jason Niemann, and Jack Ketelsen. 

The next competition is the Illinois PAS Spring Competition on Feb. 8, 2024, at Heartland Community College in Normal. The spring contest will include Livestock, Dairy, Soils, Precision Technology, public speaking, and college bowl competitions. The final competition of the year will be the National PAS Conference being held March 11-14, 2024 at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield.

For more information on the Highland Community College Agriculture Program or the PAS Organization please contact Justin Ebert at or Monica Pierce