New law prioritizes agriculture education in Illinois schools

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ILLINOIS – State Senator Scott Bennett announced a new measure Tuesday that will help train the future farmers of Illinois.

The Senator is the new Vice-Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and was excited to announce the new law that will help keep agricultural education going strong in Illinois.

Bennett’s legislation, Senate Bill 2975, will create a grant to fund up to 50 percent of the personnel costs for agriculture education teachers. It was signed into law on Tuesday, August 16.

Under the new measure, if a school district creates a new agriculture education program they could receive a grant to fund 100 percent of personnel costs in their first two years and 80 percent in the third and fourth years.

“Agriculture is the backbone of our state’s economy. We need to do whatever we can to train our future farmers and prioritize agriculture curriculum in schools across our communities,” Bennett explains.

He also adds that students need to know agricultural sciences is a possibility.

“Let’s work together to train our future farmers. Programs like this are essential to keeping Illinois’ agribusiness growing.”

The law will add agriculture education as an area of identified staff shortage which would make scholarship money available for those who want to go into agriculture education. Currently, only 61 percent of agriculture jobs will be filled with qualified graduates in the coming years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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