Springfield, IL - Over 1,000 members of the Illinois Association FFA descended on the Capitol Tuesday. This marked the 50th anniversary of the Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day. The high school agriculture students get to meet with their local lawmakers and address the importance of agriculture across the state. They bring their lawmakers baskets with unique items produced in Illinois along with a lunch they prepare in the morning.
"It's awesome that you are actually taking a place in state government. What you say matters at 18, 16 years old," said Illinois Association FFA State Vice President Lane Harvey. "It's a big deal to be here."
FFA members also discussed their goal to keep the agriculture education line item in the state's budget at $5 million.
"It's a huge part of our economy. One in four jobs relate to agriculture, so it makes a big difference in our state," explained Princeville High School FFA Advisor Jacob Meisner. "For their support, we really are appreciative."
The students were also able to speak with Gov. JB Pritzker, Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and Acting Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Cabello II.
"This shows you're getting so many skills off the farm here. What these kids are doing today is impacting what's going on back at the farm, back at their schools and even back in the urban setting. It expands your knowledge so much more in Springfield." Harvey said.