Admission to the University of Illinois College of ACES was a life goal for Dylan Knisley. Growing up on his family farm in Monticello, Illinois, Dylan was able to receive hands-on experience with livestock and managing the farm land. “My family used to buy bottle calves from the dairy farm at the University of Illinois and raise them until they were full grown,” he said. “With all the positive experiences I had at the dairy farm and attending the yearly agricultural open house, I always knew that becoming an Illini was what I wanted to do.”
For the past seven years, Dylan has raised Bobwhite quail every year and sells them to various dog breeders and hunt clubs. Dylan’s interests later turned to land management. He helped to plan and build a two-acre pond on his family’s farm and stocked it with various fish. Because of his love for fishing, Dylan joined the University of Illinois Bass Team in 2017 and looks forward to that collegiate experience. He has worked as a groundskeeper at the University’s Robert Allerton Park, a 1,500 acre park and nature center in Monticello where he learned to manage the land for the public’s use. “You could say agriculture in some form has always been a part of my life. I want to share that with others.”
Dylan believes the University of Illinois is a step above all other educational institutes and encourages students to just jump in with both feet and take advantage of all the opportunities the university has waiting for you.