Symposium to look at food, ag communication

Symposium to look at food, ag communication

CHAMPAIGN — The University of Illinois will host an international symposium on food and agricultural communications Feb. 17 at the I Hotel in Champaign.

The symposium, which will include speakers from business, academia, journalism, agriculture and an environmental group, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day.

It will be followed by a gala, hosted by farm broadcaster Orion Samuelson, marking the 50th anniversary of the UI's agricultural communications program. The gala, which includes dinner, is slated for 6 to 9 p.m., also at the I Hotel.

The symposium — "Food and Agricultural Communications: The Next Frontier" — includes a keynote speech, four panel discussions and a presentation by Johanna Nesseth Tuttle.

Tuttle, a vice president of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies and director of its Global Food Security Project, will discuss the world in 2030.

One panel, moderated by Wall Street Journal reporter Scott Kilman, will discuss nutrition and rural development around the world. Kilman is co-author of the book, "Enough: Why The World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty."

Another panel will examine the science behind modern agriculture. Panelists are expected to include Ed McMillan, owner of McMillan LLC and former president of Purina Mills; Robb Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Monsanto; and Rob Aukerman, president of U.S. operations at Elanco Animal Health.

Attendance is limited to 300. The registration fee for the symposium is $125 for professionals, $50 for faculty and $20 for students. Prices increase after Jan. 17.

The registration fee for the gala is $75 for professionals and $50 for faculty and students. More information about the symposium and gala is available at http://www.agcommevent.com.

Grants for improving community available

MAHOMET — Farm Credit Services of Illinois is offering $250 community improvement grants for up to 60 project proposals submitted by 4-H and FFA members.

To be eligible for the grants, 4-H clubs and FFA chapters must be based in one of the 60 central and southern Illinois counties served by Farm Credit Services of Illinois.

Those include Champaign, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Moultrie, Piatt and Vermilion counties.

Examples of projects that received grants in past years included: planting of trees along a bike path, planting of a flower or community garden at a school, installation of a flag pole at a park entrance and cleanup of an abandoned ceremony.

Community residents with an idea for a project should contact local 4-H members or leaders or FFA members or advisers.

Applications must be submitted online by Feb. 17. More information is available at the Farm Credit Services of Illinois website, http://www.fcsillinois.com.

Ag scholarship applications available

MAHOMET — Farm Credit Services of Illinois is making 25 $1,000 agriculture scholarships available to college-bound high school seniors.

The scholarships are available to applicants in one of the 60 southern counties in Illinois served by Farm Credit Services of Illinois.

Those include Champaign, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Moultrie, Piatt and Vermilion counties.

Applicants must plan to enroll in college during the fall 2012 semester and pursue an agriculture-related academic major or career.

The scholarship application deadline is March 2. More information about the applications is available at http://www.fcsillinois.com.

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