Sweet Corn Named Official State Vegetable

Just in time for the 42nd Annual Chatham Sweet Corn Festival, Governor Rauner signed legislation Thursday designating sweet corn as the official state vegetable of Illinois. SB 800 was sponsored in the House by State Rep. Raymond Poe and State Sen. Sam McCann in the Senate. It was brought about through the efforts of the 4th grade students at Chatham Elementary School.

“Sweet corn has been an important part of Illinois agriculture throughout the state’s history,” Poe said. “I am glad to see it get this much-deserved recognition, and am glad to see the hard work of the students from Chatham Elementary pay off.”

A group of Chatham students testified in support of the bill before the House Agriculture and Conservation committee in May. They were on hand in the House chamber when the bill passed 115-0 in May. The students had previously joined Senators for the debate on the bill in that chamber.

Illinois' new state vegetable joins such other state symbols as the state animal (white-tailed deer), state flower (violet) and state insect (monarch butterfly).