2014 Ag Alumni Banquet
Andy Rash, of Kewanee, Ill., left, received the 2014 Outstanding Ag Alumnus Award Jan. 25 at the annual meeting and banquet of the Black Hawk East Agri-Business Club Alumni.
Rash grew up in central Indiana, attended Eastern Hancock High School, and was very active in 4-H and FFA livestock judging and showing.
After high school he came to Black Hawk College on a judging scholarship and completed his Associate of Science degree in 2000. He continued his education and judging career at Western Illinois University. He graduated in 2002 and began teaching as an adjunct faculty member and assistant livestock coach at the East Campus. After finishing his master’s degree in ag education, he was BHC’s ag business instructor for the next three years.
In 2006, he accepted a position with Cargill and spent the next seven years in multiple roles of leadership. Most of his tenure was in sales leadership, and his last responsibility was a national marketing manager for the pet food and wildlife feed division. During this time he and his family moved from Illinois to Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and back to Illinois.
Andy left Cargill to pursue business ownership focused on retail agriculture, sport dog and wildlife products sold at major retail chains across the U.S. He still retains ownership in the custom packaging business but recently re-joined Cargill as a sales leader for their Ag Horizons division to lead a team that offers a risk management portfolio to Illinois farmers.
While working in academia and the business world for more than 10 years, he has been fortunate to put his love of and education in livestock evaluation to use judging many national and regional shows. This spring he will be judging the barrows at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the NJSA Southeast Regional.
Andy and his wife, Tara, now reside in Kewanee where they enjoy watching their three children start their livestock-showing careers.
Andy Rash credits Black Hawk choice with making difference
by Dave Clarke, Star Courier
Keynote Speaker was Troy Coziahr of Cambridge, Ill., an alum who received an AAS degree in Agri-Business in 1991. After graduating from the East Campus, Coziahr transferred to Illinois State where he received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education in 1994 and his master’s degree in crop sciences from the University of Illinois in 2001.
Coziahr was a high school ag teacher and FFA Advisor for 11 years and returned to work for Black Hawk College East Campus as the Recruiter and an academic advisor for three years before joining Monsanto as an agronomist in 2008. In 2011 he accepted the position of manager of the learning center at Monsanto’s Monmouth facility.
Kelly Craig of Galva, Ill., Administrative Assistant to the VP for the East Campus and the Agriculture Department since December of 2005, was honored as the 2014 Friend of the Alumni. The ag faculty, Agri-Business Club and the Agri-Business Club Alumni members agree that with Craig it would be harder to host events such as this banquet. Her willingness to assist, organizational skills and attention to detail and perfection go far above and beyond.