Richard Rubenacker has always been proud of Rend Lake College. The longtime farmer’s three sons each graduated from the institution’s agriculture program, and now Rubenacker is giving back to the college by serving on the RLC Foundation Board.
"I feel privileged," said the McLeansboro resident of his recent appointment to the board. "I’ve always been extremely high on Rend Lake College. We’re fortunate to have a college of that caliber this close."
According to Pat Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of the Rend Lake College Foundation, Rubenacker was nominated to the RLCF Board based on his successful career in the farm implement business.
"He is the person from Hamilton County we needed to get involved with the Foundation," Mitchell said. "This is a man who gets things done."
Rubenacker praised RLC’s Agriculture programs in particular. He said RLC provides a wonderful option to students who may not otherwise continue their educations past high school.
A nominating committee on the RLCF Board brings names to the group, and the nominees are examined based on their areas of residence, status within their communities and their belief in community college education, Mitchell said. Rubenacker fills a vacancy left by the late Don York, a McLeansboro businessman.
Rubenacker graduated from Wayne City High School in 1952 and went directly to work on the family farm. In November 1956, he married Margarette Biggerstaff. They have three sons - Randy, Rodney and Terry - and five grandchildren. Each of Rubenacker’s sons graduated from Rend Lake College in Agriculture Production and joined the family farming operation.
What originally was 320 acres has grown over the last 40 years to include more than 8,000 acres, of which the Rubenacker family owns 90 percent.
In 1987, Rubenacker and his children formed 4R Corporation and bought a Case-IH farm equipment dealership in McLeansboro. Three years later, they purchased another dealership in Carmi.
The family also owns Prairie Tile Systems and owns and operates Rubenacker Farms Inc., a trucking business that hauls grain from its farms and custom hauls for Pioneer Seed Co. in McLeansboro.
Rubenacker’s farming abilities have been recognized in trade publications. In 1983 he was selected as a Master Farmer by Prairie Farmer Magazine, and he accepted a lifetime membership in the National Registry of Who’s Who and was featured in the 1998 edition.
Rubenacker is no stranger to serving on boards. He has held seats on the Hamilton County Unit 10 School Board, Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, Southeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Wayne/White Counties Electric Co-op Board, Federal Land Bank Board of Directors, Farmers Home Administration Board, Rend Lake Agricultural Advisory Board and Market Street Bancshares Board. He also has served on various church committees, including the Knights of Columbus.
Rubenacker’s country/western band, "The Country Kin," has entertained the Tri-State area for more than 30 years and continues to perform for charitable functions, events and fund raisers.
The Rend Lake College Foundation provides a financial structure for soliciting, holding and administering privately donated funds and gifts for the college’s benefit, with a primary focus on student scholarships.
The Foundation has been responsible for such projects as completing the Aquatics Center on-campus and the creation of the RLCF Children’s Center, as well as the initiation of the Institute for Learning in Retirement Program.