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MATTOON -- Lake Land College will welcome a new livestock judging coach, Hayden Wilder of Macomb, this fall. After a successful year for the Lake Land College Livestock Judging Team, Wilder plans to take the team to even greater success in the coming years.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of fully preparing the sophomore team for success on the national level while simultaneously getting the freshman team acclimated to the culture of collegiate judging,” Wilder said.

Wilder’s first and foremost responsibilities include teaching several classes throughout the semester ranging from ag business to animal science, all of which support the Agriculture Division curriculum. Wilder will also play a vital role in team recruiting and coordinating Lake Land’s annual judging contest each March.

Wilder will begin his position at Lake Land with an array of experience under his belt. While earning a master of business administration from Western Illinois University (WIU), he served as the assistant coach of the WIU Livestock Judging Team alongside Mark Hoge. It is clear where his passions lie having grown up on a small grain farm in Remington, Indiana. He showed pigs throughout his youth and participated in 4-H, FFA and livestock judging teams throughout his high school and college years.

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Wilder will be a valuable resource to the college, and he knew from the moment he stepped foot on campus that Lake Land would be the place he called home.

“After spending an afternoon on campus, it quickly became clear to me that the students, faculty and administration work collaboratively to make Lake Land College a top-notch place to call home,” said Wilder. “The support that the Livestock Judging program receives from all levels within the college is integral in allowing the team to find national success year in and year out. The attractive environment of the college makes my role as the Livestock Judging Team coach very exciting, as I think the opportunities for the program are endless.”

Wilder received an associate degree from Black Hawk East and a bachelor's degree in ag business with a minor in animal science from Western Illinois University. He was a member of successful judging teams at both schools. For the last four years, Wilder has also been fortunate to work part time for Lake Land alumnus JR Armstrong of Armstrong Genetics, a 140-sow show pig operation south of Macomb.

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