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John "Bama" Andress

Class of 2017

John grew up on a diversified livestock operation in the southeast corner of Alabama. His experiences working in animal agriculture helped pilot his transition to Illinois, where he received a livestock evaluation scholarship to Black Hawk College East Campus. It wasn’t until John’s second year of college he discovered his love for teaching by working with students in both Cambridge and Galva, Illinois through the GAST program. When asked why he chose the University of Illinois, John stated,

“When I realized teaching was just as important to me as my passion for livestock, or possibly more, I had to find a school that could cater to my desires to be the best in both. When I visited the U of I, I knew I found where I needed to be. Not only did I receive an excellent first impression from the College of ACES, but as I have grown to explore various departments and organizations on campus, it is apparent our university prides itself of cultivating a culture of excellence in all we do.”

John’s advice for students is, “While I still help maintain our family business with Southern Cattle Company and collaborate with my fellow graduate students here on campus, sometimes everything seems overwhelming. However, my Ag teacher always told me to do what I love and I will never have to work a day in my life. The moral of the story is, always listen to your Ag teacher!”