Illinois Agricultural Education & FFA                
 
  About Agricultural Education  
 
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Overview      
Agricultural education has a long and rich history in Illinois, although organized efforts to foster agricultural education for all students did not begin until the 1980s. In 1984, a grassroots movement from the Illinois agriculture industry recognized that agriculture is central to the welfare and economic stability of the state, and requires a continued source of trained and qualified individuals for employment in agriculture. That movement resulted in creation of the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE).

In 1986, the Illinois General Assembly legislated that a comprehensive program for agricultural education be created and maintained by the public school system for all school districts. The Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) was formed. In 1987, the first agricultural education line item within the Illinois State Board of Education budget was approved at $48,500. When the line item was increased to $1,000,000 in 1989, the Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education Project (FCAE) was developed by the Illinois State Board of Education to assist in the coordination of improvement and expansion efforts in agricultural education. The current funding level for the agricultural education line item is $5,000,000.

How can you help?
Support our local program, educators and students by encouraging our schools to maintain and enhance agricultural education opportunities and ask state legislators to increase agricultural education line item funding.  Share the message that agriculture is the state's number one industry and top employer, and raise awareness of the diverse career opportunities available in the agriculture and horticulture fields.

Reports & Data      
Includes: Ag in the Classroom, Secondary, Community College, University, Yearly Ag Ed, Research, Teacher Supply & Demand, and Incentive Funding Grant Application (IFGA) reports.

Why Agricultural Education?      
Agricultural Education is an integral part of the Illinois School Code. (Control F, type in FFA, click next to view) Classroom instruction, FFA membership, and Supervised Agricultural Experience(SAE) are required for funding.
 
Agricultural Education has a solid track record.   The program has experienced a steady increase in the number of students in high school agricultural/horticultural education programs and FFA. 91 percent of students are non-farm students, 40 percent are female, and 7 percent are minority. It serves more and more student high school graduation needs.  80 percent of the departments allow agriculture courses to fulfill high school graduation requirements in academic areas of science, consumer education, math, language arts, and social studies.  More than 70 percent of agriculture's graduating seniors enter postsecondary education.

Approximately $4000 in state incentive funding is awarded annually to each local program to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and curriculum materials. Incentive funding has saved many agricultural programs from closing.  Online curriculum with more than 1200 agricultural lesson plans have been developed and are provided free of charge to Illinois agricultural teachers. The curriculum resources aligned to Illinois Academic Learning, Standards are now used in 42 other states and the curriculum has been adopted in its entirety in 14 states.

Administrative Council      

The Administrative Council is the governing entity of the Illinois FFA Center – representing the Illinois Association FFA, Illinois Foundation FFA, Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT), Illinois Association of Community College Agriculture Instructors (IACCAI), Illinois Professional Agricultural Student Organization (IL PAS), the Illinois FFA Alumni Association and Facilitating Coordination for Agricultural Education (FCAE).

The chair position is held by the IAVAT past president.  Purposes are:
  • to coordinate functions of the Illinois FFA Center to more effectively support the member organizations.
  • to provide a structure for articulation of major state activities involving member organizations
  • to facilitate communication of member organizations' goals and visions to create and evaluate common vision for the Illinois FFA Center
  • to plan, develop, implement, and monitor the annual administrative budget
  • to annually evaluate the position performance of the Executive Staff of the Illinois FFA Center.
  • to establish priorities at the Illinois FFA Center relative to assisting related support organizations.
  • to be ultimately responsible for evaluating, promoting, hiring, and terminating Illinois FFA Center personnel.
2020 - 2021 Members 

IAVAT: 
Past President - Jessica Collins
jcollins@fc74.org
20/21 President - Ann Piotrowski
20/21 Vice President

Illinois Foundation FFA: 
Chair - Joe Webel
joe.webel@gmail.com 
Vice Chair - Thomas Marten
Vice Chair - Josh St. Peters

Illinois Association FFA:
20/21 President - Lexi Mueller
19/20 President - Gage Miller
Adult Representative - Wyatt McGrew
mcgreww@mcusd185.org 

Illinois FFA Alumni: 
President - Steve Yandell
syandell81@gmail.com 
Vice President - Bill Kittinger

IACCAI: 
Past President - Brad Angus
bangus@jjc.edu 
PAS: 
2020 President - Gwen Heimerdinger

FCAE: 
State Coordinator - Dean Dittmar
ddittmar@ilaged.org 


Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education      
  FCAE is a state project administered through the Illinois State Board of Education in cooperation with and advisement by the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE). FCAE addresses the aims of Public Act 84-1452 involving the implementation of identified goals for improving education in and about Agriculture in Illinois. 

Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education      
  ICAE is composed of thirteen members, six who must be ILCAE members, sanctioned by Public Act 84-1452 which was signed into law September 19, 1986. ICAE is the governor's committee that is mandated to develop curriculum and strategies to establish a continuing source of trained and qualified individuals in Agriculture. 


Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education      
  Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE) is a voluntary, grassroots agricultural industry group focused on the expansion and improvement of Agricultural Education programs at all levels. ILCAE is primarily an advocacy group focused on legislation that established the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) and the Agricultural Education line item in the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) budget. 


Administrator FAQ      
Agricultural education is a key component of the Illinois education system, and enhances the social, economic and environmental well-being of the state. Learn WHY and HOW to incorporate agricultural education courses into your school and/or district.

   
 
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