The ceremony marks 50 years of commencement in which more than 55,000 graduates have earned a degree or certification.
The Alumnus Achievement Award acknowledges an individual who has attained outstanding success and distinction in his or her field of endeavor; has gained favorable statewide or national recognition; or has performed service which has proven beneficial in society.
Rincker, Laker Nation Class of 2000, is the owner of Rincker Law, PLLC, co-owner of Rincker Cattle Company and an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School where she teaches an online agriculture and environmental law course.
She is a general practitioner with concentrations in food, farm and family law and is also a nationally recognized food, farm and family attorney, mediator, writer and speaker.
Rincker grew up working on a farm in Shelbyville, Illinois and was constantly engaged in agricultural events around her community.
She participated in 4-H and FFA by showing cattle at both local and national levels and was involved with the American Junior Simmental Association.
During her time at Lake Land, she was a member of the Livestock Judging Team that earned First Place in Oral Reasons at the National Western Livestock Show and First Place Overall at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
After graduating with an associate degree in agricultural science from Lake Land, Rincker’s path took her all over the country.
She first transferred to Texas A & M University’s College of Agriculture, where she received a bachelor’s degree in animal science and was selected to participate in the Congressional Agriculture and Natural Resource Policy Internship Program.
It was through this internship opportunity that Rincker had her first experience with agriculture law and policy while working for Congressman Kevin Brady.
Rincker completed a juris doctorate degree from Pace University, School of Law, in White Plains, New York where she received certificates in both environmental law and international law.
While there, she was a part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where she did research on national legal frameworks on the conservation of livestock biodiversity and contributed to the report publication of “The State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.”
She also participated in Yale University’s School of Forestry’s Environmental Diplomacy program where she served as an advisor for the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Marshall Islands of the United Nations.
While there, she gave policy recommendations to Ambassador Cappelle.
Following law school, Rincker started her career as an associate at Budd-Falen Law Offices, LLC in Cheyenne, Wyoming where she worked in areas regarding agriculture, environmental and natural resource issues to federal lands, wind energy development, crop insurance, property law and commercial law.
She gained teaching experience as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Department of Nutrition and Food studies where she taught an undergraduate food law course.
She developed a strong love for her career and skills through working with families on how to resolve their disputes and make their families stronger.
She followed this goal by being a member of the matrimonial law committee for the Association of the Bar for the City of New York and the family law section for the New York State Bar Association, and a volunteer mediator with the New York Peace Institute in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
She has also taken this passion back home to Illinois by becoming a mediator Guardian Ad Litem for the Sixth Circuit.
Rincker has bar licenses in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas and Washington D.C.
She is a member of countless professional activities and associations and has won many awards for the work that she has done.
Dave Cox, director of alumni relations and annual giving, said of Rincker’s success in her nomination, “Cari has taken every opportunity presented to her to be get the most out of her many talents and strive to great heights of success.”
The Rincker family has strong ties to Lake Land College.
Rincker’s father, Curt Rincker, is an alumnus and served many years in the Agriculture Division, retiring as the division chair in 2011.