RED BUD, Ill. – In recognition of his leadership in agriculture education, state Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Smithton, has been named to the House Agriculture Education Shortage Task Force to help explore and find solutions to the challenges of hiring and retaining agriculture teachers in Illinois high schools.

“Agriculture in Southern Illinois remains the largest industry in Illinois and is critical to both our local and statewide economy,” Costello said. “As the chief sponsor of the legislation creating this task force, I know it is crucial that we recruit and retain agriculture educators in Illinois to benefit future generations throughout the state.”

The state agriculture education task force will be responsible for gathering and assessing the number of Illinois agriculture teachers, the number of current openings for positions, and the number of Illinois agriculture education graduates. By January 1, 2019, the task force will be required to recommend ways to recruit and retain agriculture teachers and identify possible reforms of teacher licensure and testing requirements in the state of Illinois. Costello was the chief sponsor of the legislation, which was signed into law by the governor in August.

“Agriculture is not only the number one industry in Illinois, but it is also a way of live for those in rural Illinois, which is why education is so important in the field,” Costello said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the task force to help formulate new ideas and opportunities in agriculture education.”

State Rep. Jerry Costello II represents Illinois’ 116th district, which includes all or parts of St. Clair, Randolph, Monroe, and Perry Counties. His office can be reached by phone at 618-282-7284 or by email at

Rep. Jerry F. Costello IIRep Jerry Costello II

116th District

Springfield Office:
200-7S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-1018
(217) 558-4502 FAX

District Office:
124 Locust Street
Red Bud, IL  62278
(618) 282-7284
(618) 282-7286 FAX