Illinois to establish a global hub for food and agricultural communications

Posted: 20 March 2024 | | No comments yet

The University of Illinois has revealed plans to create a global centre for food and agricultural communications.

food research

A global centre for food and agricultural communications is set to be created by The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“Illinois is uniquely positioned with both a leading agricultural industry and one of the largest urban centers to be a catalyst for new insights that will benefit food systems around the world,” explained College of ACES Dean Germán Bollero. 

The centre will be named after the agricultural communications pioneer and Illinois professor emeritus James F. Evans and is set to “continue to advance excellence in this space through outreach, professional development, research, convenings, and degree programmes”.

In order to establish the Evans Center, the university has launched a fundraising campaign where it needs to generate more than $5 million. So far, a “sizable donation” has been provided made in Evans’ name by an anonymous alumnus.

The Evans Center’s first phase will kick off this year in a dedicated area adjoining a newly constructed learning innovation lab on the lower level of the College of ACES Library, Information, and Alumni Center, affectionately referred to as the Funk Library.

Low-income parents struggle to afford healthy foods, research shows

“I’m looking forward to seeing students working alongside experts from diverse backgrounds to tackle the most pressing communications challenges of today’s global food systems,” said Anna Ball, Associate Dean of Academic Programmes in the College of ACES.

The Evans Center has been gaining momentum through leveraging the robustness of its agricultural communications undergraduate and graduate programmes which have been honed over the past two years through industry collaboration. The programmes are rooted in three core pillars including skill enhancement, global perspective, and critical thinking.

Industry professionals, alumni, faculty, and students have identified priorities for the Evans Center including professional development events, skills training, visiting global agricultural journalist programmes, unbiased media research, executive seminars, and consumer outreach efforts.

“We have been talking with potential stakeholders to ensure we have the best possible vision for what the center needs to make an impact globally. Ultimately, the Evans Center will find new and better ways to advance food and agricultural communications to create a better, more sustainable future for producers and consumers,” concluded Ball.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *