Jennifer (Hotchkiss) Shike, of Sadorus, Ill., received the 2014 Outstanding Ag Alumnus Award Jan. 24 at the annual meeting and banquet of the Black Hawk East Agribusiness Club Alumni.
Shike grew up showing horses and livestock in Washington County, Iowa, and later discovered a logical passion for judging. Through 4-H and FFA, she achieved success as both a livestock and horse judge at the state and national level, resulting in an international trip to Europe to compete in the Royal Highland Show Judging Contest in Scotland.
She graduated from high school in 1996 and began classes at Black Hawk College East Campus that fall. Shike quickly became an active member of both the livestock and horse judging teams and competed at NACTA in several competitions. She served as the president of the Agribusiness Club and as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa. In addition to a successful career judging, Shike believes the friendships and relationships she developed at Black Hawk College have led to some of the greatest opportunities of her life.
After receiving her degree from Black Hawk College, she transferred to Kansas State University where she majored in animal sciences and industry and agricultural journalism and communications. She was a member of a winning livestock judging team and horse judging team while in Manhattan. Jennifer was the first female to win the coveted Bell Award for the most outstanding livestock judge in 2000.
After graduating from K-State, Shike served as the National Swine Registry’s director of junior activities where she developed the National Junior Swine Association from an idea into the fastest growing youth livestock organization in the United States with nearly 12,000 members. She was responsible for organizing shows, implementing scholarship programs, and creating leadership conferences and mentoring programs.
Today, Shike is the director for communications and marketing in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois. She is responsible for facilitating the development of communications and marketing strategies, managing the college’s branding strategy, and serving as editor of the college’s magazine, ACES@Illinois. In 2013, she received the University of Illinois Innovation in Marketing Award.
Shike also serves as the Illini Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow advisor and organizes professional development opportunities for students through her involvement in the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) and the American Agricultural Editors Association (AAEA). In addition, she serves on the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association’s Board of Directors and LPC’s Board of Directors.
She has recently been honored with LPC’s Ed Bible Distinguished Service Award and AAEA’s Andy Markwart Horizon Award. Shike has been instrumental in organizing the Black Hawk East Livestock Judging Alumni Organization and annual reunion. She has also served as a past member of the Black Hawk College East Campus Agribusiness Club Alumni Board of Directors and the Dan Hoge Wall of Fame Committee.
Shike and her husband, Dr. Dan Shike, live in Sadorus, Ill., with their three children. They enjoy spending time together as a family – whether they are showing pigs, attending wrestling meets, riding horses, or going to dance recitals.
The Agri -Business Club Alumni (ABCA) Supports Ag Department
The Agri -Business Club Alumni (ABCA) Board of Directors is honored to contribute financially to the growing Agriculture Department at BHC East Campus. The donations made over the past year include grants to support the Ag Mechanics area and Equine Program. The Ag Mechanics Area received $489 for a Scan Tool, and the Equine Program received $755 for two video cameras. The ABCA is slated to award an additional $5000 from funds raised at the 2014 ABCA Annual Banquet to be used for Agricultural faculty mini grants this fall.
Help find lost alumni
Try as we might, it is an enormous task to keep updated addresses for the hundreds of BHE ag graduates. You, as fellow alumni, are our best resource when it comes to tracking down current addresses (and sometimes name changes) for your classmates and friends. If you know the current address of anyone on this list, please e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like to communicate Ag Alumni activities to them.
ABC funds help support student learning and needs on East Campus
FY 2014 the Agri-Business Club Alumni board of directors approved funding for the following projects and initiatives:
- Scan Tool (Jason Grice/Auto Mech)
- 2 Video Cameras (Donna Irvin/Equine)
FY 2013 the Agri-Business Club Alumni board of directors approved funding for the following projects and initiatives:
- Ag Alumni Mugs (recruiting)
- FFA Convention Items (recruiting)
FY 2012 the Agri-Business Club Alumni board of directors approved funding for the following projects and initiatives:
- Farm Progress Show bus
- BHE Invitational
- Equine Fund Raiser
- Ag Plaque
At the September 2011 meeting, the Agri-Business Club Alumni board of directors approved funding for the following projects and initiatives:
- Covering the cost of a bus to take students to the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.
- Donating funds to pay for the band at the equine fundraising Boot Scootin’ Barn Dance and BBQ
- Paying for the awards at the BHE Livestock Judging Contest
At its March 2010 meeting, the Agri-Business Club Alumni board of directors approved funding for the following projects and initiatives:
- Installing wireless Internet access point in the Ag Arena to enable students and instructors to access online resources and materials
- Purchasing new projection unit for Room 2-107, a computer lab used by ag faculty
- Purchasing a piano key for the college’s new piano in an effort to support a college-wide initiative
- Providing an annual donation to the Illinois FFA Foundation
Thank you for your past help and support.
For questions or to submit news and information, please contact the Ag Alumni Mailbox.
Last updated 1/28/2015