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Highland’s Agriculture program holds successful inaugural Farm-to-Table dinner

 A beautiful evening, a well-decorated machine shed, a deliciously prepared locally-grown harvest festival was the recipe for a fantastic evening at Keith Hinrichs’ farm just west of Freeport. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the Highland Community College Agriculture Department, the Highland Community College Foundation, and the Stephenson County Farm Bureau hosted the 2017 Farm-to-Table dinner.

The evening began with a light social hour for 104 guests in attendance to mingle with friends and colleagues. The five-course meal featured many locally grown items including eggplant, onions, apples, and watermelon. The main entree was balsamic glazed beef tenderloin medallions topped with Tuscan chutney, served with roasted cauliflower and wild rice.

“This evening provided a setting in which city and country guests shared a common purpose, supporting our local agricultural environment while raising up opportunities to enhance the rapidly developing Highland College Ag programs,” said Bruce Johnson, Stephenson County Farm Bureau Manager.

The evening would not have been possible without the contributions of many local businesses. The Highland Community College Agriculture Department would like to thank the following contributors: Casey Meyers, Cedar Hills Gardens; Dittmar Farms and Orchard; Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery; Farm First Cooperative; Groezinger Produce Farm; Lena Brewing Company; Megz Country Cheese; Oriana’s Oriental Orchard; Raines Honey Farm; Sullivan’s Foods, and The Cheese Market. We would like to thank The Rafters Restaurant, Catering & Events for preparing and serving the meal. Also special thanks to the Hinrichs family and employees for the use of the farm, which was a magnificent setting.

The event was held to raise awareness of the opportunities available through the Highland Community College Agriculture Department. The Agriculture program currently has 63 full-time students pursuing degrees in Animal Science, Crop and Soil Science, Agribusiness, Ag Education, and Horticulture. Students can also participate in extra-curricular activities such as the Dairy Judging Team, Soils Judging Team, Post-Secondary Agriculture Students (PAS) Organization, and the Collegiate Farm Bureau.

If you would like more information about the Highland Agriculture Department, please contact Justin Ebert at or Monica Pierce at

Highland Ag students










Highland Agriculture students that helped at the dinner were, (L-R) Sydney Jackson, Paige Fuchs, Michael Wubbena, Olivia Kepner, Stephanie Nadig, Andrea Willing, Drew Groezinger, Alicia Dehn, Abigayle Endress, (not pictured – Charlie Elliott, Cody Welling, and Jessica Willis)

Speaker at farm to table dinner









Highland Agriculture student and owner of Groezinger Produce Farm, Drew Groezinger discusses the produce he donated that was used to make the eggplant soup.

Speaker at farm to table dinner










Stephenson County Farm Bureau Manager Bruce Johnson wraps up the evening with a few words of appreciation



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

Fax 815-235-6130