Rep. Swanson Visits ‘Ag Sciences High School’ with Leadership Council for Ag Education

Rep. Dan Swanson (left) and fellow ILCAE board members tour the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, opened 37 years ago in August of 1985.

State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) visited the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences last Tuesday, August 30, the site of the recent board meeting for the Illinois Leadership Council Agriculture Education (ILCAE). The quarterly meeting was held at the Chicago High School of Ag Sciences, a magnate school which opened in 1985.

Over 2,000 Chicago area students apply for the 180 student openings selected through a random lottery. Siblings of enrolled students receive automatic enrollment. All students are FFA members and the senior FFA Officers also serve as officers for the entire student body. Many of the teachers are alumni members of the school. A great experience to tour the school and meet students, teachers and administrators.

“The Chicago Ag Science High School is the last working farm in the City of Chicago and keeping this open and available to students in urban areas is very important for those who may be interested in an agriculture career,” commented Rep. Dan Swanson, a hog and corn farmer himself.  “Students focus on one of 7 career pathways through their high school experience.”

The Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE) is a volunteer, 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 strengthening Illinois Agricultural Education and the agricultural industry through such accomplishments like the legislation that established the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) and the Agricultural Education line item within the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) budget. ILCAE is responsible for the vision of Agricultural Education thru the Illinois Agricultural Education Plan.  

Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences is a co-ed magnate school with over 800 students who benefit from hands-on experience and summer internships with many going on to major in agricultural disciplines at universities.
Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences located in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the far south side of the City of Chicago. It is a 72-acre campus with 40 acres dedicated to a working farm.
The jars on the table are strawberry honey jam prepared by the food science students. The school has its own beehives and raises several farm animals.
Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences was the second school of its kind in the United States after one in Philadelphia, PA.