Mary Barnes, left, and Mark Dempsey | Photos courtesy of Western Illinois University
MACOMB, Ill. – Four graduates from Western Illinois University’s School of Agriculture just lately have been named Distinguished Alumni. The honor is a convention that began in 2020 throughout the college’s a centesimal anniversary.
This yr’s honorees are 1985 alumnus Mary (Turnbull) Barnes of Nebo, 1983 alumnus Marsha Webster of Allerton, Iowa, 1987 alumnus Kurt Rahe of Bluffs and 1987 alumnus Mark Dempsey of Fowler.
Barnes was the primary feminine WIU graduate to safe a secondary agriculture trainer place in Illinois and one of 4 who taught within the state in 1985. She additionally has served on the part, district and Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers and the Illinois FFA Board of Directors. Barnes has taught at Barry Community School in Pike County; Western High School in Barry and Pleasant Hill High School.
Barnes acquired the 2008 National Association of Agricultural Education Teacher Mentor Award winner in Illinois. She was named the Outstanding NVA (NAAE) excellent Region IV trainer in 1995. She acquired the District III Excellence in Teaching Award in 1996 and 2019, alongside along with her FFA American Farmer Degree in 1983 and the Honorary American FFA Degree in 1999.
Barnes accomplished her grasp’s diploma in agriculture training and mechanization at Southern Illinois University. She retired in 2019 after 35 years of instructing.
“Through the years, I have seen many changes in agriculture and education, but the students still need and want to have someone believe in them,” she mentioned in a press launch. “All teachers have that ability to make a positive difference in their students’ lives. Making the difference has led me to enjoy a simple life, raising my children, teaching God’s children and caring for the land. I credit my success to doing things I have a passion for and being adaptable to life’s change.”
Barnes has served as an advisor to 4 FFA chapters and taught greater than 4,000 college students about agriculture and FFA. She and her husband, Jerry, have two youngsters.
Dempsey owns Bigneck Outfitters, a looking enterprise, and RKBA Gun Range. After commencement, he returned to his household farm close to Quincy and now’s in his thirty fifth yr working the farm, first along with his father and now along with his son.
During his farming profession, Dempsey gained second place within the National Corn Growers yield contest in 2004 and took first place in 2008 with a 348-bu. yield per acre. He enjoys specializing in the advertising aspect of agriculture.
While at WIU, Dempsey was a member of AGR, the Hoof n’ Horn membership and the 1987 livestock judging crew. He remains to be lively on campus, serving six years on the School of Agriculture’s advisory board and a few years because the president of the AGR Alumni Association.
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