Our Staff

Veronica Shaughnessy

Extension Educator, Horticulture

University of Illinois Extension
Enterprise Center
2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501
Westchester, IL 60154
Phone: 708-449-4320
FAX: 708-492-1805

Veronica Shaughnessy provides programming related to horticulture, urban farming, local food, forest preserves, and environmental conservation. She also provides programming in direct response to additional Cook County needs. Shaughnessy contributes to the training of master gardeners in the Cook County area.


Shaughnessy earned a master’s degree in horticulture from Purdue University where her concentration was sustainability in floriculture. As a graduate student, she assisted in teaching plant propagation. Furthermore, she conducted and published floriculture research. Shaughnessy also holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from the University of Illinois where she concentrated on production and management. In addition to earning her bachelor’s at the University of Illinois, she also interned at the university’s own plant care facility.  


Shaughnessy is interested in many aspects of horticulture ranging from floral design to green house production to urban farming. Shaughnessy has been actively involved in the urban farming community within Cook County since 2012. Her passion for integrating the needs of the environment with the needs of the community has driven her into the challenges surrounding the building of urban farms, production methods, managing and training staff members with little or no agricultural background, and designing agricultural systems in which produce can be efficiently yielded in an urban setting.


Shaughnessy became drawn to nature as a form of therapy early on in life. It is through this connection that horticulture became so strong a passion. She is enthusiastic about being an educator, serving the community, and sharing the joy that has come from her study of horticulture.