Ruel Hanlan, a December 2020 graduate of the Richland Community College agriculture program, was selected to attend the upcoming Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Animal Institute.

The AFA Animal Institute is held annually for college students pursuing agriculture related careers to promote understanding of animal-related career opportunities and to aid in personal and professional development while offering a glimpse of career pathways first-hand.  Students will have the ability to broaden their peer and professional network in the industry as talented future leaders.  Approximately ninety students from across the country are selected each year through a competitive application process.  Typically students travel to Kansas City for this three day event but this year it will be held in a virtual format on April 11th, 12th, and 13th.

“Students in the Richland Community College agricultural program are encouraged to pursue experiential learning opportunities,” said Jess Smithers, Director of Agricultural Programs at Richland.  “While high-quality classroom and laboratory instruction is essential, it is through internships and other experiences outside of the classroom that technical skills are enhanced, communication skills are developed, leadership capacity is built, and relationships are cultivated”

“I greatly appreciate the encouragement of Mr. Smithers to apply for the Animal Institute and I look forward to the opportunity and experience,” said Ruel.  Ruel completed his Associate of Science degree at Richland in December 2020 and is currently pursuing an Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois.

If you would like more information about the agricultural programs at Richland Community College, contact Jess Smithers at 217-875-7211, ext. 6223, or Dave Shiley at 217-875-7211, ext.6408.

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