Illinois College’s agribusiness program taught by major leaders in the industry


Jeff Galle has been involved in the agriculture industry his entire life, having grown up on a grain and livestock farm then continuing into the industry by teaching at colleges in Illinois.

Kevin Klein, coordinator of online business programs, and Dr. Jeff Galle, professor of agribusiness


Now, he is one of the professors in the agribusiness program at Illinois College and uses his experience and expertise to help students achieve their goals of working in the agriculture industry. 

The agribusiness program focuses exclusively on the business side of the agricultural industry as opposed to crop or animal production. This allows students to further develop their business skills, whether it be through economics, finance, marketing, and so on. Agribusiness majors are able to weave their courses with courses in the business program, giving them the best of both worlds. 

Courses are offered each year on a rotating schedule. Students are required to take general business courses such as economics, accounting, and statistics. The program also has agricultural-specific courses that are relevant to the changing landscape of the industry in the United States. The Emerging Issues in Agriculture course teaches students about ongoing and upcoming issues in the industry, giving them a glimpse into real-world issues in their field. 

Being able to lay the foundations that were founded in the business department and in the agribusiness program prepares them for a strong, successful career in the agriculture community.
Dr. Jeff Galle

Prior to joining the faculty at Illinois College, Galle built a foundation for himself in the swine industry, having taught at John Wood Community College in their swine management program. His expertise is not restricted to the classroom, however. Galle has been involved in all aspects of the Pork Producers organization at the local, state, and national levels, having served as the President of Pike County Pork Producer then moving up the ranks to become the President of the Illinois Pork Producers Association. Jeff served as a delegate for several years and eventually ran and was selected by the Pork Producer delegates, and then appointed to the National Pork Board by the United States Secretary of Agriculture in 2006 and served until 2009.

Galle credits his connections to industry leaders with his 30+ years teaching and working in the industry and utilizes those connections to recruit students to join the agribusiness program at Illinois College. 

“My experience working in higher education gave  me exposure to a tremendous amount of people in the FFA and 4H communities and the Dept of Agriculture,” Galle explains, “It gave me the contacts that are necessary to make this program visible.”

The agribusiness program is currently in its sixth year and is a part of the well-established business department. Since the start of the program, course offerings have expanded to include an asynchronous online program, providing students the flexibility to fit coursework into their lives.

“Online students are able to take one course every eight weeks,” Galle explains, “These students are given all the resources they need to complete the classes at their own pace.” 

The agribusiness program is an ideal fit for anyone looking to break into the agricultural industry, whether its accounting, finance, or management. IC made it even more accessible through an articulation agreement with community colleges in the state of Illinois. 

“This agreement is designed for students who graduate with an associates degree and are looking to continue their education,” Galle says, “These students have the opportunity to transfer to Illinois College and complete a bachelors on campus or online.”  

Galle emphasizes that agribusiness is not something that can only be achieved at the local-level, it’s an international market. His time in the swine industry has taken him all over the world. He was invited by the Illinois Director of Agriculture to visit Hungary on a trade mission with several other industry leaders. He’s spent time in Brazil and Argentina as a part of an Illinois Ag Leadership Program Class to evaluate their agriculture and the effect of hyperinflation. He was also a key evaluator of the success of Freedom Farms International’s potential for long-term livestock production in Ukraine.

Most notably, however, Galle has established an international business in the southeast Asian country Laos with the creation of the brand Laos Fresh Meats under his company Global Pork Production Enterprises. 

“Our hope for our students is that we help prepare them to go out and be successful in the workplace, to be able to look for career opportunities that are going to be long term and enjoyable for them,” Galle notes, “The agribusiness program gives them the chance to see and do things that prepare them for being involved in the industry after graduation.”

To learn more about the agribusiness program, click here

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932, the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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