Planting Knowledge, Harvesting Futures: Professor, Pete Fandel’s Journey in Agriculture Education  

August 15, 2022

ICC Class of 1991 (Agriculture) 
Transferred to Illinois State University – 2 Bachelors in Agribusiness and Agronomy 
Masters in Agronomy from the University of Illinois  
Professor, Illinois Central College 

Tell us about the career path that led you to your current job.  

After I graduated from ISU, I landed a job as an Extension Assistant in Crop Systems for the University of Illinois Extension Service. During my first 3 years there, I received my master’s degree. Over the next 15 years I was promoted a few times. During my last couple of years with U of I, I started teaching a class at ICC as an adjunct faculty. Then the ICC professor that was here for about 30 years at ICC retired, and I was lucky enough to land his position as a full-time faculty in agriculture. I have been at ICC now for 12 years.  

How did ICC shape your future or help you attain your professional goals?  

ICC prepared me well for my 4-year degree. When I got to ISU, I was told that I could graduate a semester early or take a double Ag major and still be able to graduate in 2 years. ICC’s ag program is one of the best out there. 

What does it mean to you to be able to teach at ICC and educate future ICC alumni?  

I love teaching. It’s what I have done for my entire career. First with U of I teaching farmers with one-on-one meetings in their fields or conferences and workshops with dozens of producers. Now I teach “the next generation” of producers that will work in the great industry of agriculture. There isn’t a better place to be. 

What advice would you give current students at ICC to succeed?  

Always be honest, respectful, and kind. Have a great work ethic. Set goals and work to achieve them. And if you don’t love what you do for a job, then find something else to do. It will be your life’s work, so enjoy it.