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Shelby Cooper

Class of 2016
From Downs, IL
Interned at Joliet Junior College GAST (Fall 2011), Soybean Field Service intern (Summer 2013). and NAAE Communications Intern (Summer 2015)
Student taught at Lincoln Community High School
Agriculture Teacher at A-C Central High School, Ashland, IL

Shelby chose to pursue a degree in agricultural education because of the career options available to her in the agriculture industry. "I knew a degree in agricultural education would give me a well-rounded background, and the teaching certificate option will help me find a job. I have come to love Ag Ed even more after seeing the enthusiasm and passion students and teachers have for the program, and I am excited to watch my future students become educated consumers in the future."

She says her favorite part of the atmosphere in the University of Illinois Agricultural Education Program is the "visible bond the faculty have for students". She adds, "I know my professors want the best for me and my education, and I can trust them to answer any question I have honestly and with my best interest in mind. This geniune care makes the entire program a safe and encouraging place to grow."

Outside of on-campus activities and coursework, Shelby enjoys cheering for the Illini, participating in Sigma Alpha activities as President, traveling with Agriculture Future of America, watching the television show "FRIENDS", and drinking coffee. She also spends time learning about other interests related to crop sciences, plant sciences, and floral design.

She encourages other students to "be open to all kinds of advice, but ultimately make your own decisions. Try anything once, and do the things that make you happy."

Read about Shelby's experience as the FFA Greenhand Conference Coordinator on her Voices of ACES blog.