1210211232a 2PARK FOREST – Senate Agriculture Chair Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) received the Jim Guilinger Legislative Award from the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education on Friday for his support of agricultural education and Future Farmers of America student programs.

“I am humbled to accept this award from the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education that is strengthening our young agricultural leaders,” Joyce said. “Agriculture is one of our state’s top industries, and that’s why we place a major emphasis on agricultural education in the General Assembly. Agricultural education and programs like FFA have such a positive impact on our young people, and I will always be a supporter of that mission.”

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.

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