Two area General Assembly members have been honored for helping foster agricultural education in Illinois schools today in Springfield. Democrat State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill and Republican Representative Norine Hammond of Macomb were honored today with the Jim Guilinger Legislative Award by the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education for their efforts to expand and promote agricultural education in Illinois schools. Jim Guilinger, the award’s namesake, was a teacher in Sycamore, Illinois who was named top vocational-ag teacher in the U.S. in 1982.
Hammond, Manar, and a host of others were a part of a bi-partisan effort who were vocal opponents of former Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget cuts to school programs involving agriculture two years ago. The ILCAE is an advocacy group focused on legislation, funding, and promotion of agricultural education and serves as an advisory council for the initiatives of the Agricultural Education line item. The awards were presented to the bipartisan group in Springfield this afternoon.