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Milledgeville HCC grad excels in ag

With more than 350 students graduating from Highland Community College on May 22, Charleese Faulkner’s agriculture instructors are recognizing the Milledgeville resident with the Outstanding Student Award in Agriculture.

Born and raised on a farm, Faulkner said she always knew she wanted to study agriculture and work in the industry. While at Milledgeville High School, Faulkner learned of her educational opportunities to study agriculture at Highland from her instructors, Justin Ebert and Monica Pierce.

Her experience at Highland solidified her decision to earn an Associate of Arts degree in Agriculture and continue her education this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to work toward her baccalaureate degree in Agribusiness, with a minor in Crop and Soil Science.

“I have always known what I wanted to do in life. The study of agriculture and the opportunities in the field are so broad,” Faulkner said. “I want to study the business side of agriculture and also be part of crop and science. What I have learned in the last two years at Highland helps me make that next step to earn my four-year degree and enter the workforce to be part of an industry I love.”

As a freshman at Highland Community College, Faulkner quickly became involved in Ag Club. She also participated and competed state-wide with PAS (Professional Agriculture Students). In the summer of 2020, she was selected as an intern through GROWMARK to work at Carroll Service Company in Milledgeville.

As an intern through GROWMARK, Faulkner has been exposed to accounting, marketing, and product and service-related activities. Each intern completes a service-related business project and delivers a presentation at the end of the internship. She will return as a second-year intern this summer.

“Being part of PAS helped me out of my shell and prepared me to be able to speak in front of people,” Faulkner said. “Without getting involved with agriculture beyond high school at college would not have me where I am today,” she said.

Pierce said Faulkner has excelled over the past two years and she was awarded Outstanding Student in Agriculture at the College because of her participation, growth, and achievements.

“Charleese is an excellent example of a student taking advantage of all that Highland Agriculture has to offer,” Pierce said. “As a college Freshman, Charleese quickly became involved with Ag Club and the Professional Agricultural Student organization. Within her first year, she also secured an internship which helped to solidify her career path. As a faculty member, it is always rewarding to see students like Charleese get involved and make professional connections that lead to careers.”

For more information about the HCC Agriculture program or scholarships, students should email Justin Ebert at or Monica Pierce at

To get registered for the Highland fall semester, call 815-235-6121 or visit