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Bennett calls for hands-on agricultural teacher training program

bennett 041218SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) introduced legislation this week to create a hands-on agriculture teacher training program in Illinois high schools for those interested in studying to become agriculture teachers in college.

“Agriculture is more than just our state’s leading industry. It’s also central to our economy and our way of life,” said Bennett, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Creating a pre-service teacher training program to give prospective agriculture students the fundamentals they need to succeed will help to ensure the next generation of family farmers will keep the industry strong for years to come.”

The proposed legislation would also provide grants to students who qualify and attend a university or community college that offer an agricultural education teacher course.

The proposed pre-service teaching program would include a 12-week course that would provide hands-on experience through partnerships with Illinois agricultural companies, focusing on the five career clusters of agricultural education: agricultural business management, agricultural mechanics and technology, horticulture services, agricultural sciences, and natural resources conservation management.

Senate Bill 1498 passed out of the Senate Education Committee and is scheduled for consideration before the full Senate.

Sen. Scott Bennett

Senator Scott Bennett

52nd Senate District

Years served: 2015 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Chairperson); Appropriations II; Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Higher Education; Labor; State Government; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Bennett grew up in Gibson City, where four generations of his family worked on their family farm. He moved to Champaign-Urbana to attend law school at the University of Illinois after graduating from Illinois State University.

Associated Representatives:
Carol Ammons
Michael T. Marron