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Highland Foundation grant funds ag equipment and scholarships

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The Highland Community College Foundation has been awarded $50,000 from Compeer Financial as part of $825,000 in grants to community colleges across Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The grant will fund a John Deere® 5000 Series Utility Tractor for the Precision Agronomy program in addition to two scholarships for agriculture students each year for the next five years.

“We are thrilled to be selected as a partner college with this contribution focused on growing our agriculture program in Northwest Illinois. This financial support, partnered with our leading-edge faculty and facilities, creates a lasting legacy for agriculture education in our region,” said Jeff Reinke, executive director for the Foundation.

Highland Community College is one of six community colleges in Illinois receiving grant dollars. Many of the grants help to enhance hands-on learning offered to agriculture students. The grant from Compeer Financial was part of the Agriculture and Rural Initiative. In January, Compeer Financial announced the organization has committed $1.9 million in grants and scholarships over the next five years intending to enhance and further develop agriculture’s workforce.

At that time, it was announced that Highland will receive two, $1,250 scholarships for the next five years for students in agriculture. The latest grant comes on the heels of that for the larger contribution.

Justin Ebert, an agriculture instructor at Highland, said, “The addition of a tractor to the agriculture program will provide students hands-on experiences utilizing precision technology in our research plots as well as a learning resource for students taking mechanical maintenance coursework.”

He adds, “I would like to thank Compeer Financial for their continued support of the Highland Community College Agriculture program. Their generous contributions have provided many great resources and opportunities for our students.”

It’s not too late to get registered at Highland Community College for the fall semester. Call 815-235-6121 to get started or visit