Lake Land College recently honored students in its agricultural majors at the 46th Annual Agriculture Banquet.
More than 600 people filled the Lake Land College Field House for the banquet, which honored outstanding agriculture students and alumni.
Ryan Orrick, division chair agriculture/agriculture instructor, said everyone in the room has had a part in the division’s success. “Each year in the Ag division we are fortunate to work with some of the best and brightest talent. We get to see this every day in the classroom.”
Throughout the evening, various groups were recognized for their outstanding efforts including: the Agriculture Transfer Club, the Agriculture Business Club, the Horticulture Club, student leaders in the agriculture division, the Livestock Judging Team and members of the Post-Secondary Agriculture Students group.
In addition, 59 students who achieved the state FFA degree were recognized and 12 students who have held or are currently holding a FFA section office.
Twenty students were recognized as state or national proficiency winners and two students, Travis Winans, Mattoon and Maddison Caldwell, Elmwood, were recognized as National FFA winners. Within that group, 16 received the American FFA degree which is “one of the highest honors a student can achieve in their FFA career,” Orrick said.
Orrick also recognized Laker agriculture legacy families. More than 34 families at the banquet had at least one parent and child attend Lake Land.
Curt Rincker, retired Lake Land College agriculture division chair, received the 2017 Honored Alumnus Award. Rincker was an agriculture instructor from 1981 to 2011. During that time, he spent 10 years coaching Lake Land’s nationally recognized Livestock Judging team. As the judging coach, he recruited students from throughout the United States and expanded Lake Land’s name and reputation beyond our district borders.
“Curt spent 30 years developing and enhancing Lake Land’s Agriculture division into one most respected programs in the nation,” Orrick said.
Rincker was named division chair for agriculture in 1991 and saw the enrollment in the agriculture division jump from 130 in 1991 to a record 300 in 201. He worked with industry to bring the John Deere Ag Tech program to Lake Land, as well as the professional training.
Since retiring, he has “transitioned” to full time employment in production agriculture in Shelbyville and has developed one of the most successful Simmental operations in the Midwest. He continues to host the livestock judging team and animal science classes on his farm. He sponsors a scholarship that goes to the ag division’s outstanding student. He serves in leadership roles in many state agriculture organizations and also serves as the president of the Illinois Association of Community College Agriculture Instructors. He was a recipient of the Lake Land College Faculty Association Outstanding Service Award and the University of Illinois College of ACES Alumnus Award.
Orrick also recognized John Althaus, former agriculture division chair, who is now the vice president for academic services, thanking him for his service and contribution to the Lake Land College Foundation in honor of his parents – the George and Lilly Bell Althaus Memorial Fund scholarship. This will be awarded to the students receiving the highest GPA and outstanding student for each division.
Later that evening, Carley Travis, Oblong, received the Outstanding Agriculture Division Student Award for 2016-2017 and received a $500 scholarship on behalf of Rincker and his family. Travis is an agriculture transfer student.
Mary Moenning of Hayfield, Minn. received the Phil Rincker Scholarship. This scholarship was named after Phil Rincker, Strasburg resident and 2006 graduate, who died in a farming accident in 2009. Rincker was an active member of the Livestock Judging Team. The $500 scholarship was contributed by his teammates, Sara Beckman, Schuyler Boyden, Blane Olson and Tucker Wood, and his family –Otis, Donna, Will and Cody. It is an annual scholarship given to a livestock judging team member who scores the highest in the beef category to honor Rincker’s memory and his love of beef cattle.
Other students recognized at the banquet were as follows:
Recognized for Agriculture Business and Supply/ Professional Custom Application were:
Rachel Deters, Sigel, High GPA and Outstanding Student
Recognized for Agriculture Production were:
Julie Wente, Sigel, and Aaron Wesch, Arcola, High GPA
Julie Wente, Outstanding Student
Recognized for Agriculture Power Technology were:
Joel Schultz, Stewardson, High GPA
George Rever, Taylorville, Outstanding Student
Recognized for the John Deere Ag Tech program was:
Nathan Bonifer, Velpen, Ind., and Justin Reinneck, Belleville, High GPA
Alex Rodhouse, Pleasant Hill, Outstanding Student
Recognized for the Horticulture program were:
Tim Kerans, Oakland, High GPA
Libby Vandelist, Effingham, Outstanding Student
Recognized in the Agriculture Transfer program were:
Blair Monroe, Bethany; Kaylie Huizenga, Morrison; Kaden Sweeney, Charleston; Zoe Ray, Greenup, High GPA
Kaylie Huizenga, Outstanding Student
Recognized for receiving the American FFA degree were:
Colin Cole, Toledo
Adam Casey, Bingham
Jordan Schutte, Mexico, Mo.
Justin Reinneck, Belleville
Matthew Stock, Hoopeston
Grant Powell, Palmyra, Mo.
Mary Moenning, Hayfield, Minn.
Catherine Largent, Slanesville, W.V.
Anna Landstrom, Odell
Carley Travis, Oblong
Karley Barrington, Mayo, Fla.
Austin Terrell, Mexico, Mo.
Joel Schultz, Stewardson
Lacey Knodle, Fillmore
Alec Meyers, Edinburg
Recognized as Illinois FFA Star winners were:
Maddison Caldwell, Elmwood
Cole Fredrickson, Maroa
Travis Winans, Taylorville
Austin Walter, Grand Ridge
Recognized as holding a leadership role with various state and national junior livestock associations were:
Carson Goff, Hopedale, national board member for American Junior Chianinna Association
Kaylie Huizenga, Morrison, president of the American Junior Simental Association
Megan Myerscough, Champaign, president Illinois Junior Simmental Association
Mary Moening, Hayfield, Minn., president of the Minnesota Junior Simmental Association
Kade Patton, Frankfort, Ind., past vice president of the Indiana Junior Angus Association