Do you love corn? Popped, on the cob, or with a little Hispanic twist as an Elote? Would you rep corn if it was a sports team with a mascot?
If you answered yes to those questions, boy do I have good news for you. On Monday, January 1st, 2018, as official business would have it, corn is to become the official grain of the state of Illinois.
Corn, if you didn’t know, is already the official state vegetable and popcorn the official state snack food of Illinois. But now it will wear a third medal as the official grain.
The people asked and they were heard, this all happened thanks to a legislation sponsored by downstate politicians Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer and Sen. Sam McCann. And yes, the corn family will be the first substance to hold three official state titles.
The Chicago Tribune reported that McCann could not immediately be reached for comment on this win for corn. But many of us are wondering, why would they chose to occupy the legislature’s time with this important issue?
Davidsmeyer did tell Inc. in an email that he had resisted advice from colleagues not to bring up the bill. He had worked on it with a group of high school agricultural students, the goal was to give them a “great learning experience” about drafting the law and lobbying for it. He took the opportunity to push for more substantive legislation, but those efforts were “unfortunately blocked by the speaker,” Davidsmeyer added.
On the other hand of state symbols and legislation we have Sen. Tom Rooney. Who is currently sponsoring and lobbying for state legislation that would remove from the law book several state symbols. Those include: the state bird (cardinal); state insect (monarch butterfly); official language (English); state mineral (flourite); state tree (white oak) and flower (native violet); state animal (white-tailed deer); state fish (bluegill); state prairie grass (bib bluestem); state vegetable (sweet corn); state fruit (gold rush apple); state fossil (tullimonstrum gregarium); state artifact (pirogue); state folk dance (square dance); state theatre (the Great American People Show); state soil (drummer silty clay loam); state snack (popcorn); state amphibian (eastern tiger salamander); state reptile (painted turtle); state tartan (Illinois St. Andrew Society tartan); and state pie (pumpkin pie).
Speaking to The Springfield Journal Register earlier this year, Rooney said that, “overuse is diluting the value of state designations,” and that his legislation would leave only the “important” state flag, state seal, state motto and state song.
So that’s a win for corn but a possible loss for everything else.