The state of Illinois has a 1.8 million dollar line item that supports ag education in the state.
It’s not a lot of money, spread out over 800 school districts, but it does provide the seed money for things like ‘Ag In The Classroom’, support for Vocation Ag programs and FFA programs and the money is also used to encourage the training of more Ag Teachers.
Andrew Bowmen is with the Ag Leadership Council for Ag Education… It is an Ag industry based group that supports ag education in the state.
Gov Rauner has proposed eliminating the 1.8 million in state ag education funding, says Bowmen
Bowmen says we can’t find enough Vocational Ag teachers because it is hard for school districts to compete with other opportunities, so the Ag Leadership Council is working to find ways to keep teachers in the classroom.
With nearly one in four jobs in Illinois related to Agriculture, the 1.8 million the state puts into ag education programs is a minor expense, but eliminating the funding could hurt future job group. Bowman encourages those interested in maintaining ag education to contact the Governors office and their state representative and state senator.