The Parkland College Blog

AGCO Announces New Technical Training Program at Parkland College

Program to train AGCO dealership technicians will open Jan 2022

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AGCO Corporation (NYSE: AGCO), a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and precision ag technology, announced a new program with Parkland College’s Midwest Center for Precision Agriculture (MCPA) in Champaign, Illinois, to expand dealer technical training offerings in January 2022. The program will leverage AGCO technical experts to train technicians from existing dealerships to support the company’s agricultural equipment, such as tractors and planters.
The presence of AGCO’s large ag equipment–including those produced by the manufacturer’s Fendt® and Massey Ferguson® brands–has grown across North America, which has increased demand for qualified technicians who are able to service and maintain its precision ag machinery. AGCO’s participation with Parkland College and other technical schools will help ensure its dealerships of highly-trained professionals and reduce their travel time, costs, and time spent away from dealership locations.
“AGCO is excited to team up with Parkland College,” said Robert Yunghans, manager of aftersales training for AGCO North America. “Parkland’s Precision Ag center is well known for producing some of our industry’s top professionals and this program will not only benefit them, but also our dealers and farmers across the Midwest.” 
Based in Champaign, Illinois, Parkland College is a comprehensive community college with a longstanding reputation for excellence in agriculture education and diesel technology. The MCPA provides students, area employers, regional growers, and high school educators the knowledge and skills-based training to be successful.  
Parkland is recognized as the #2 Precision Agriculture community college in the country, and utilizes top-notch facilities such as the Tony Noel Agriculture Technology Center and Parkhill Applied Technology Center to deliver the most advanced precision agriculture curriculum in the region.   
“Parkland is pleased to expand our nationally recognized precision agriculture programming to include the opportunities provided by AGCO,” said Thomas Ramage, Parkland’s president. "Welcoming AGCO to campus will allow us to expand training opportunities on our campus, expose Parkland students and faculty to emerging technologies in the agriculture industry, and assist in meeting a critical workforce need for skilled technicians."
In addition to the education and training assets at Parkland College, the Champaign-Urbana community is a global AgTech hub and home to the University of Illinois. The company opened the AGCO Acceleration Center at the University of Illinois Research Park in 2018, which advances technology and innovation across AGCO’s grain, seed processing, swine, and poultry production equipment brands.  

Fendt and Massey Ferguson are registered trademarks of AGCO.
About AGCO
AGCO (NYSE:AGCO) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and precision ag technology. AGCO delivers customer value through its differentiated brand portfolio including core brands like Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®. Powered by Fuse® smart farming solutions, AGCO’s full line of equipment and services helps farmers sustainably feed our world. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, USA, AGCO had net sales of $9.1 billion in 2020. For more information, visit For company news, information and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR.
About Parkland College
Parkland College is a fully accredited public community college serving the needs of District 505, Illinois' third largest community college district. Offering 130+ degree and certificate options for career placement or academic transfer, Parkland has provided vocational-technical skills training and traditional academic instruction to more than 350,000 people since 1967. Parkland College's mission is to cultivate inquiry, practical application of knowledge, and broad enrichment across the community to better serve the intellectual, cultural, and economic development of the district. For more information about the institution and academic offerings, visit or follow the college on Instagram at @parkland_college and Twitter @parklandcollege.

Child Development Center Grant to Help Parents in Need

Childcare Grant to Provide Stipends to Student-Parents

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Thanks to a federal grant, Parkland College's Child Development Center will be able to offer childcare stipends to full- or part-time students who are also parents.

Starting today, Parkland College students can apply for and receive help through the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant, designed to support the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based childcare services.

With the grant, full-time student-parents could qualify for 100-percent tuition coverage, while part-time student-parents could receive a prorated amount of coverage based on number of credit hours per semester. The grant will also expand the Child Development Center by two additional rooms to increase capacity, broaden comprehensive support services, and raise awareness of resources to single parents and pregnant students, says Adrienne Shockley, center director.

"The goal of this project is to help Parkland students with young children take advantage of the high-quality childcare available to them on campus," Shockley said. "The more barriers we can remove for student-parents, the more likely they are to complete their college studies and obtain careers that can sustain a high-quality of life for their families."

Available, affordable, and high-quality childcare for working families has been at the forefront of Sen. Tammy Duckworth's priorities along with fellow legislators who jointly introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Small Business Child Care Investment Act earlier this year.

"Shrinking childcare options make it even harder for student parents who are trying to balance college coursework and raising children," said Duckworth. "I'm proud that this funding will help Parkland's Child Development Center significantly increase access to childcare services so that more student parents in the Champaign area can focus on getting an education that will help them provide a better future for their families."

Eligible students will:

  • have a 6-week to 5-year-old child in need of childcare and have successfully completed enrollment at PCDC
  • be currently enrolled as a Parkland student
  • maintain a grade point average of at least 2.5 out of 4.0 in subsequent semesters
  • provide documents to determine financial need, credit hours, and GPA

Childcare tuition scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority consideration for any open spots will be given to low-income student families. Tuition coverage is awarded per credit hour.

For more information, please visit or contact the Center at 217/373-3777.

Women's EmpowHERment Group to Host Virtual Networking Event

"How is Your NETworking?" by the Women's EmpowHERment Group

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The Women's EmpowHERment Group will present "How is Your NETworking?" on Tuesday, December 7 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

This virtual networking event will feature a panel of five local women entrepreneurs and community leaders, who will share their tips and strategies on network building and engaging in networking activities. Following the panel, participants will have the opportunity to practice networking with EmpowHERment Group volunteers in small guided groups.

Attendees are asked to RSVP at this link.

Panelists include: Andrea Rundell, executive director at the YWCA of the University of Illinois, and co-founder of the Women's EmpowHERment Group; Mariah Madison, CEO and founder of Buy Black Chambana; Kate Insolia, owner and artistic director of Urbana Dance Company; Mila Fuller, owner of Nothing Bundt Cakes; and Rachel Storm, arts and culture coordinator for the city of Urbana.

The Women's EmpowHERment Group was founded by Parkland College and the YWCA of the University of Illinois to create an empowering space for women to find online support, learning, and networking opportunities to advance their careers. For more information, visit or contact Andrea Rundell at at 217/344-0721.

Staerkel Planetarium to Present Kaler Lecture on Evolution

"The Evolution of Family Life: A Case Study in Small Fish," December 3 at 6:30 p.m.

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This December's James B. Kaler Science Lecture at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium will be about evolution, through the lens of fish.

Friday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m., University of Illinois professor Dr. Alison Bell will present "The Evolution of Family Life: A Case Study in Small Fish." Tickets for Kaler Lectures cost $2 or are free for Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Bell, who teaches in the UIUC Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, researches the various ways families are organized in nature. Her lab focuses on the threespined stickleback, a type of fish whose family structure places the father as the sole provider of parental care. However, there are populations within the species which offer no parental care. Data from Bell's lab offers clues to this variance in social behavior.

Bell earned a bachelor's degree in history, philosophy, and social studies of science and medicine at the University of Chicago, and a doctorate in population biology at the University of California at Davis. Before joining the University of Illinois, she performed postdoctoral research at UC-Davis and at the University of Glasgow. In 2020, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The seating capacity in the planetarium is currently limited to 60 people. The Kaler Science Lectures are filmed by Parkland College TV. After the talk, the seats will be cleaned before the 8 p.m. showing of Season of Light, a program about the cultural traditions and astronomy of the winter solstice. Admission to fulldome shows are $6 for adults and $5 for children, students, and seniors. For a show schedule or booking information, please call 217/351-2446 or visit

Winter Ensembles at Parkland College Offer Free Concerts

Parkland Music Ensembles to Offer Free Winter Concerts Dec. 5 and Dec. 12

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Parkland College's concert season continues with December performances by several ensembles. Performances will be livestreamed on Parkland's YouTube channel.

Sunday, December 5 at 3 p.m.
"A Seasonal Delight" A Concert by the Chamber Singers and the Concert Band
. The Parkland Concert Band, directed by Dr. Matthew Dixon, will perform "Mayflower Overture" by Ron Nelson; "Suite from the Nutcracker" by P.I. Tchaikovsky, arranged by James Curnow; "Jingle Bells" by J.S. Pierpoint; and "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson, in addition to others.

The Parkland Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Franklin Gallo, will perform "The Gift to Sing" by Marianne Forman; "The Great Clear Twilight" by Austin Schend; and "Tshotsholoza," a traditional South African song, adapted by Jeffrey Ames, among others.

Sunday, October 12 at 3 p.m.
"December Celebrations" A Joint Concert by the Parkland Orchestra, Wind, and Guitar Ensembles.
The Parkland Orchestra, directed by Dr. Rodney Mueller, will perform "La Belle Helene Overture" by Jacques Offenbach; "Dance of the Tumblers" from The Snow Maiden by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; "Symphony No. 5" fourth movement by Ludwig van Beethoven; "Frosty the Snowman" arranged by John Moss; and "German Carol Festival" arranged by James Christensen.

Parkland's Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Jonathan Beckett, will present "Christmas Music for Winds" arranged by John Cacavas; "Fantaisie on a French Christmas Carol" arranged by Warren Barker, based on Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfin; and "A Winter's Carol" arranged by Mark Williams, based on O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, among others.

Director Dr. Young Kim will lead the Guitar Ensemble in performing "Sheep May Safely Graze" by J.S. Bach; "O Tannenbaum" and "Angels We Have Heard on High" arranged by Alan Hirsch, and more.