Freeport, Illinois — The agriculture program at Highland Community College is the recipient of a $5,000 donation from Adkins Energy as a way to give back by supporting area education.
Highland will use its $5,000 donation to support the update and expansion of the agriculture program training and research facility, which includes purchasing machinery for the research plot, renovating a classroom space into an ag science lab, and purchasing technological equipment for classroom use.
Monica Pierce, Agriculture Instructor at Highland, said, “We are extremely grateful for the support of local businesses, like Adkins. Training students to be proficient in the science and technology of today’s agriculture industry requires investing in cutting-edge technology and equipment. Doing so is not cheap, but the benefits of competent graduates entering our local agricultural workforce far outweigh the costs.”
Adkins Energy is a dry mill corn-to-ethanol and biodiesel facility located in northwest Illinois. It is owned by over 275 local investors and Pearl City Elevator and employs 40 people.
Since it started production in 2002, Adkins has processed over 225 million bushels of corn to produce over 625 million gallons of ethanol and over 3.1 million tons of wet and dried distillers’ grains. Since 2015, Adkins Energy has operated a 2 million gallon per year biodiesel facility that is fully integrated into its ethanol operations.
“Adkins is pleased to support science and agricultural education in our area,” said Adkins Energy General Manager, Ray Baker. “Adkins’ own biodiesel and ethanol laboratories are a key part of our operations, so we know the importance of having up-to-date labs. Our employees, owners and board are proud that these donations will strengthen education for the students at those schools.”
Photo caption: Tim Hood, President of Highland Community College, left, Joan Strong, Controller & Human Resource Manager for Adkins Energy, and Jeff Reinke, Executive Director for Highland Community College Foundation.