Kaskaskia College Graduate Nick Harre of Nashville was hoping for a great start to his college education when he enrolled in the Agriculture Program. After receiving the Board of Trustees Scholarship for being one of the top 10% in his 2008 high school class at Nashville, he soon realized that he would have a head start on his college career when he began enrolling in dual credit classes while still in high school.
Harre earned an Associate in Science Degree at Kaskaskia and was also extremely involved in the Dairy Judging Team and the National Postsecondary Agriculture Student Organization (PAS). He states that he chose to start at KC because he knew Ag Professor, Aaron Heinzman, has had very successful dairy judging teams, and he wanted to be a part of that success. “Perhaps the best public speaking training I’ve received has come through dairy judging at Kaskaskia,” says Harre.
After graduating from Kaskaskia, Nick attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and attained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Plant and Soil Science and later a Masters in Science in Plant, Soil, and Agricultural Systems. He then pursued and attained his doctorate degree from Purdue University in Botany and Plant Pathology with a specialization in Weed Science.
He currently is a dairy and grain farmer at his family farm, Wilra Farms, Inc. in Nashville as well as a contract researcher in the crop protection industry and serves as Chairman for Herbicide Physiology in the North Central Weed Science Society.
KC Ag Professor, Aaron Heinzmann says that Nick was an enjoyable student to have in our program, and he was so successful for us in so many ways in the classroom, Ag Club, and Dairy Judging Team. It has been really fun to follow his educational and career pathway. Nick’s research in Weed Science is some of the most relevant in the industry and he has won many graduate competitions across the nation for his work. Professor Bill Waggoner and I are looking forward to cooperating with Nick to draw on his expertise at the Brownstown Research Station in order to maximize student learning through research.”
Harre says he would recommend the KC Agriculture Program because “The dairy science program rivals that of 4-year institutions. Kaskaskia gave me a head start on my college career by allowing me to earn dual credit while still in high school. The AS degree enabled a seamless transition to SIU by meeting all general education requirements. This way, as soon as I started at SIU, I could focus purely on classes for my major”.
Nick also feels that KC Professor Aaron Heinzmann took a sincere interest in every student. “Through teaching classes or by coaching the dairy judging team, I could tell Aaron took a sincere interest in every student. That meant a lot to me, and perhaps, even more now because I realize that is not something you receive at all 4-year institutions. I am completely happy and satisfied that I began my college career with Kaskaskia College”.
Heinzmann says, “We are very lucky that Nick has returned to the area to continue his research and consulting in the agriculture industry, as well as, work on the home farm. As always, it is great to see former students succeed, and Nick is certainly a great example of how a community college may help a student reach their goals”.