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University of Illinois Extension serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties

Montgomery County
#1 Industrial Park Dr.
Hillsboro, IL 62049
Phone: 217-532-3941
FAX: 217-532-3944
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

Christian County
1120 N Webster St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
Phone: 217-287-7246
FAX: 217-287-7248
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 11:30 am; 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm

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Suite A
Jerseyville, IL 62052
Phone: 618-498-2913
FAX: 618-498-5913
Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4 pm and Thursday 8 am to 12 pm

Macoupin County
#60 Carlinville Plaza
Carlinville, IL 62626
Phone: 217-854-9604
FAX: 217-854-7804
Hours: Monday - Thursday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

News Release

Accent photo

Christian County 4-H Hosts Ag Career Exploration Day

 PANA – Christian County 4-H held its Ag Career Exploration Day for high school aged 4-H and FFA members on Thursday, March 31.  The expo was held at the picturesque hilltop farm of Linda Kehias, located on Route 16 west of Pana, IL. Participating high schools included Central A&M, Pana, Nokomis, and First Baptist Christian Academy in Rosemond.


The event helped young people discover the vast array of jobs available in Agriculture and allowed them to explore related careers.  Participants learned more about Ag-Banking, Ag-Production, Horticulture, Ag-Education, Rural Health, Ag-Marketing & University of Illinois Crops Science.  Each speaker shared their personal career path, educational requirements and what a typical day is like in their field. 


Speakers included Linda Kehias, owner of Kehias Farm and retired educator, Mike Brokaw of CNB Bank, John Heck with McMillian Garden Center, Darin Hennings & Nathan Rogers of Christian County FS, Jamie Myers of Farm Credit Illinois, Penny Shehadeh of Taylorville Memorial Hospital, and Wendy White with University of Illinois College of ACES. 


John Heck, with McMillian Garden Center, encouraged students to choose a career they were passionate about and quoted the old adage, “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” The importance of students choosing a profession they were excited about was repeated by many of the speakers throughout the day.


          Christian County 4-H & Youth Development Program Coordinator, Alicia Gullidge said, “The purpose of today was to spark interest in students about a possible future career and think about the questions:   What sounds exciting? What profession could I see myself pursuing? What will make me happy? Also, to help them consider their educational needs – do I need two years or four years of college, or can I start earning a paycheck right out of high school?”


Participants enjoyed the day and received valuable insight into future career options.  A participant stated, “I have a better understanding of many different career options.”   Another said, “I now have a better knowledge of what a job in the Ag Business field would entail.” One student added, “This day opened my eyes to all of the Ag related opportunities that are out there.”   


The presenters also express satisfaction with the event and felt the day was of value.  The speakers enjoyed talking with the students and suggested the event should be hosted again in the future.


The Ag Career Exploration was coordinated by Alicia Gullidge, Christian County 4-H & Youth Development Program Coordinator and Gary Letterly, Extension Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator. For more information about 4-H, please contact Alicia Gullidge at the Christian County Extension office in Taylorville at 217-287-7246.


            University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact our office. Universidad de Illinois ofrece igualdad de oportunidades en programas y empleo. Si usted necesita un ajuste razonable para participar en este programa, por favor póngase en contacto con nuestra oficina. 


Photo Caption: On the front porch of Linda Kehias’ home, Mike Brokaw of CNB Bank speaks to a group of students about career paths in Ag Finance.

Local Contact: Alicia Gullidge, Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development,