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Agriculture Instructor Wins Community Innovation Award

Jenni Fridgen to be honored with 9 others at county-wide Innovation Celebration in March

Monday, January 23, 2017
Parkland College Agriculture Program Director Jennifer Fridgen has been chosen as the college's Innovation in Engagement Award winner for 2017. 

Fridgen will be recognized along with nine other individuals, organizations and corporations from the community at the Innovation Celebration taking place March 3 at Parkland College's Student Union. 

A collaboration between the Champaign County EDC, the University of Illinois, Parkland College and the community, the Innovation Celebration recognizes individuals and organizations for significant contributions and leadership promoting economic success and improving entrepreneurship within the county. The celebration's Innovation in Engagement Award honors a group or individual at Parkland College who has shown support of the college's community engagement mission.

"We are pleased to acknowledge Jenni's outstanding contribution in the field of agriculture and her commitment to growth and innovation, especially in the area of precision agriculture," said Seamus Reilly, vice president for institutional advancement at Parkland College. "Her work will contribute to the education of our students and sustain efficient agriculture practices which will benefit our region for years to come."

Fridgen was instrumental in securing a $200,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation last April that is providing improved training in precision agriculture at Parkland College. The college's three-year Precision Ag Curriculum Enhancement (PACE) project aims to 1) expand Parkland's precision ag curriculum to align with industry needs; 2) expand precision ag education opportunities at area high schools; and 3) update agreements between Parkland and four-year universities for precision ag.

One outcome of PACE has been Parkland's first-ever precision ag course for high school students, Introduction to Precision Agriculture (AGB 110), launched this fall.

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