07152019CW0043aCHAMPAIGN – Senate Agriculture Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) received the Jim Guilinger Legislative Award from the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE) on Friday, Dec. 4 for his support of agricultural education and Future Farmers of America (FFA) student programs.

“Agriculture plays a significant role in our state’s economy, so it’s important we place a strong emphasis on agriculture education in the General Assembly,” Bennett said. “By embracing programs like FFA and promoting agriculture education, we can instill positive values in students and shape tomorrow’s agricultural leaders.”

Since 1987, the Jim Guilinger Legislative Award has been presented to legislators who advocate for and have been publicly supportive of Illinois agricultural education. According to ILCAE, these legislators understand the importance of the agricultural industry that makes up about a quarter of Illinois’ jobs. They also know the importance of today’s youth understanding the ever-evolving and expanding agricultural industry with the knowledge gained through a current and progressive agricultural education.

The award is named in honor of the late Jim Guilinger, a nationally recognized agricultural education leader and former secretary of the McDonough County Farm Bureau. Guilinger spent 56 years of his life dedicated to agricultural education, constantly seeking out innovative and cutting-edge technology and curriculum for the betterment of his students.

“I am honored to receive this prestigious award from the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education that is having such a positive impact on our young people,” Bennett said.

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