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Education

First ag open house a success

IVCC agriculture students Zach Hunt of Mendota and Martha Hoffman of Earville (facing left) lead a roundtable discussion with visiting high school ag prospects.
IVCC agriculture students Zach Hunt of Mendota and Martha Hoffman of Earville (facing left) lead a roundtable discussion with visiting high school ag prospects.

OGLESBY — A total of 40 upperclassmen from several district high schools participated in Illinois Valley Community College’s first Agriculture Open House on April 6.

Prospective ag students from Henry, Princeton, Putnam County, Streator, Earlville, Seneca, St. Bede Academy, Hall and LaSalle-Peru high schools heard an overview about the college’s revitalized program, toured campus and assisted with experiments and demonstrations in the program’s new lab.

“The feedback was very positive and encouraging,” said Willard Mott, agriculture instructor and coordinator.

Students also learned of IVCC’s new associate of applied science degree in agricultural business management.

Natalie Mahler, ag instructor and FFA advisor at Earlville High School, said IVCC’s new program gives students “another opportunity for ag education close to home” and said of Mott, “He is an excellent fit. I am excited to see what he will do with the program.”

Mahler speaks from experience. She revived Earlville’s ag program four years ago starting with 16 students. She now has 65 participants in the program at the high school level plus 22 seventh-graders.

Buddy Haas, a student teacher at Seneca High School who is pursuing his master’s in ag education from the University of Illinois, also commended IVCC for reinvesting in agriculture.

“IVCC is in a huge ag community; their program will become a tremendous asset for high school graduates interested in ag,” he said.

A highlight of the day was the interaction between prospective students and IVCC’s current ag students, said Reed Wilson, who along with Mott coordinated the event.

For information about IVCC’s program, contact Mott at 815-224-0413 or willard_mott@ivcc.edu.

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