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Corn could get upgraded status in Illinois

It could become the official state vegetable

By Diego Flammini,

There are state birds, state slogans and state flags.

There are also state vegetables.

A titanic debate is raging through Illinois where people want to make an amendment to the State Designations Act.

If Republican State Senator for Plainview, Illinois Sam McCann is successful, corn will become the official state vegetable of Illinois – effective immediately.

Sen. McCann introduced the idea after being contacted by grade four students from Chatham. To be clear, the designation would be for sweet corn.

Currently, Illinois already has 18 recognized state symbols including the eastern tiger salamander as the state amphibian, the white oak as the state tree, big bluestem as the official state prairie grass and popcorn is currently the official state snack food.

Other state vegetables around the United States include:

Arkansas - South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato
California – Artichoke
Louisiana – Sweet Potato
New Mexico – New Mexico currently has two state vegetables: Chiles, and frijoles (refried beans)
Oklahoma – Watermelon

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Services report Illinois planted approximately 11 million acres of corn in 2014. The total value of all the acres planted was valued at more than $8 billion. Illinois only trails Iowa as the largest corn producer in the United States.

Chatham, Illinois will be hosting the 42nd annual Sweetcorn Festival July 17 & 18, 2015 at the Chatham Community Park.

Join the conversation. Do you think corn should be the state vegetable of Illinois? Does your state have a state vegetable and if so, what is it?


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