Lake Land College recently honored students in its agricultural programs at the 43rd Annual Agriculture Banquet.
More than 650 people filled the Lake Land College Field House for the banquet, which honored outstanding agriculture students and alumni.
“I am very proud of our faculty, staff, retired faculty and students because without their hard work and success, the agriculture programs at Lake Land College would not be what they are,” said Jon Althaus, agriculture division chair, as he welcomed families and friends of the agriculture students.
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.
The 2014 Honored Alumnus Award went to Troy Uphoff of Findlay. Uphoff is a sixth generation farmer. With his parents, Tony and Deanna Uphoff, he operates Uphoff Farms, Inc., a grain and livestock farm. A 1995 graduate of Lake Land College in agriculture production and management, Uphoff went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics from Illinois State University in 1997. Since that time, he has served the agriculture community as a director on the Illinois Farm Bureau Board, where he sat on the Gardner Chair Policy Advisory Committee and on the board of Country Financial. A graduate of the Illinois Ag Leadership Program, Uphoff currently serves as chair on Congressman John Shimkus’s Agriculture Advisory Committee. He has also been recognized as a finalist in the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Achievement Award and Discussion Meet competitions. A long-standing supporter of the Illinois’ pork industry, Uphoff was recognized as Shelby County’s Pork Producer of the Year.
According to Althaus, Uphoff is an outstanding example for Lake Land students.
“Troy represents to all students that hard work, dedication and a willingness to share time and energy can allow you to accomplish great things at a young age,” said Althaus. “The faculty felt that Troy’s tremendous involvement in state-wide organizations distinguished him in the field and we are happy to honor him as the 2014 honored alumnus.”
Addressing the crowd of students and family members, Uphoff imparted some words of wisdom to the future agriculture professionals present.
“You must get a good education because it’s the one thing no one can take away from you,” said Uphoff. “My greatest hope in life is to bring success to those around me and make a difference in others’ lives.”
Later that evening, Kolten Postin, Moweaqua, was recognized as the Outstanding Agriculture Student for 2013-2014 and received a $500 scholarship on behalf of Curt Rincker, former Lake Land College Agriculture Division chair, and his family. Postin is an agriculture transfer student who will attend the University of Illinois this fall.
Marie Lock of Avon, Ill. received the third annual 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 is an annual scholarship given to a livestock judging team member who scores the highest in the beef category to honor Phil’s memory and his love of beef cattle.
Other students recognized at the banquet were as follows:
Recognized in the Agriculture Transfer program were:
Sarah Kramer, Farina, High GPA
Ryan Meinhart, Wheeler, High GPA
Marie Lock, Avon, Outstanding Student
Recognized for Agriculture Business and Supply/ Professional Custom Application were:
Josey Fruhling, St. Joseph, High GPA
Brittany Zumbahlen, Dieterich, Outstanding Student
Recognized for Agriculture Production were:
Jonathan Mette, Teutopolis, High GPA
Tyler Kessler, Oblong, Outstanding Student
Recognized for Agriculture Power Technology were:
Ryan Kohnert, Watson, High GPA
Derek Strohl, Neoga, Outstanding Student
Recognized for the John Deere Ag Tech program was:
Travis Weber, Newton, High GPA
Recognized for the Horticulture program were:
Sarah Roddy, Martinsville, High GPA
Nichole Estes, Mattoon, Outstanding Student