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Lake Land College honors John Deere Tech graduates

 The John Deere Technology program at Lake Land College welcomed 20 new technicians to the field at its annual Graduation Recognition Banquet. Family and friends of the graduates recently gathered at the Walk Way in Mattoon to celebrate the students’ hard work and dedication.

 “We appreciate the 18-year-long partnership with John Deere Company that allows Lake Land to graduate some of the finest technicians in the country,” said Scott Lensink, president of the college.

The John Deere Tech program, offered jointly by John Deere Company and Lake Land College in cooperation with area John Deere dealers, offers students many unique opportunities including earning a salary while learning through on-the-job training at a participating dealership; training on the latest John Deere tractors, combines and implements, and learning the newest diagnostic and servicing procedures.

Sponsored by area John Deere dealers, students also have the opportunity to move directly into employment with their sponsoring dealership upon successful completion of this associate in applied science degree program.

For 2013, Corey Rabe, representing the John Deere Company from Vandalia, was the keynote speaker. Additionally, the Outstanding Student Award and Highest GPA Award went to John Rubrake of Columbia City, Ind.  

The John Deere Tech graduates for 2013 are:

Phil Barker, Orangeville, sponsored by Sloan Implement, Monroe Wis.;
Brandon Louis Conrad, Mahomet, sponsored by Arends & Sons Inc., Gibson City;
Jeff Grigsby, Casey, sponsored by Schilling Bros., Casey;
Joseph Gruen, Greenville, sponsored by Shiloh Valley Equipment, Belleville;
Clayton Herschberger, Arthur, sponsored by Sloan Implement, Atwood;
Joshua Hunt, Bainbridge, Ind., sponsored by Wright Implement Co., Crawfordsville, Ind.;
Nicholas Hurless, Prophetstown, sponsored by Holland & Sons, Geneseo;
Patrick Maloney, Noblesville, Ind., sponsored by Arends-Hogan-Walker LLC, Ashmore;
Jeffry Marcum, Brighton, sponsored by Wm. Nobbe Co., Jerseyville;
Tyler Maurer, Fisher, Arends-Hogan-Walker LLC, Melvin;
Emil Nissing, Wright City, Mo., sponsored by Sydenstricker Implement, Moscow Mills, Mo.;
Robert Pugh, Marshall, sponsored by Schilling Bros., Casey;
Keith Rehkemper, St. Rose, sponsored by Sloan Implement Co., Hamel;
Brandon Reno, Eldred, sponsored by Sloan Implement Co., White Hall;
Billy Ridgeway II, Lancaster, Mo., sponsored by Sydenstricker Farm and Lawn, Kirksville, Mo.;
John Rubrake, Columbia City, Ind., sponsored by Troxel Equipment, Wabash Ind.;
Lucas Schmidt, Waterloo, sponsored by Wm. Nobbe Co., Waterloo;
Ryan Shepherd, Charleston, sponsored by Arends-Hogan-Walker LLC, Ashmore;
Joseph Sonsteng, Homer, sponsored by Sloan Implement Co., Atwood; and
Justin Ward, Watseka, sponsored by Arends-Hogan-Walker LLC, Watseka.

 Instructors for the Ag Tech program are Osborne, Russel Neu and Allen Drake. Jon Althaus is the division chair for the Agriculture Division. For more information about the John Deere Ag Tech program at Lake Land College, contact Drake at 217-234-5308 or


Cutline: At the annual John Deere Tech Graduation Recognition Banquet, the Outstanding Student Award and Highest GPA Award went to John Rubrake of Columbia City, Ind., at center. He is pictured with Russell Neu, John Deere Tech instructor, at left and Corey Rabe, keynote speaker at right. 

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