Department of Crop Sciences

Monsanto commits $250,000 to University of Illinois Ag Communications Program

Published May 2, 2012
Student in Agriculture Communications uses video editing software

The University of Illinois announced today that Monsanto Company pledged a $250,000 grant to be put towards an initiative between the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and the College of Media to help establish an Agricultural Communications Program endowed chair that will strengthen communications for agricultural and rural development.

"With the population expecting to reach nine billion by 2030, farmers from Illinois and beyond will be asked to produce more crops while using fewer resources. At Monsanto, we are committed to bringing farmers advanced ag technologies to help them meet this challenge," said Tami Craig Schilling, vice president of technology communications for Monsanto. "Effectively communicating farmers' efforts to feed, clothe, and fuel a rapidly growing population is a major part of the solution."

The James F. Evans Endowed Chair in Agricultural Communications will provide leadership for the joint program between the College of ACES and the College of Media by serving current and future agricultural communicators through courses, service initiatives, research, and relationship building.

"We appreciate Monsanto's support in this effort," said College of ACES Dean Robert Hauser. "It would not be possible without the generosity of Monsanto and others who recognize the importance of informing students, the private sector, policy makers, and the public in general -- here and worldwide -- about the role of agriculture in addressing many of society's most pressing issues."

"The rising importance of new media channels combined with the rapidly changing agriculture landscape indicates it is more important than ever that we talk about ag in ways consumers want to hear about it," said Craig Schilling. "The University of Illinois is taking a positive step toward strengthening an already strong media and agriculture communications program and helping all those in agriculture become more effective at sharing their story."

Monsanto and the U of I have a long history of collaboration on efforts to advance learning and research in agriculture. Most recently, Monsanto funded eight Monsanto Fellows in Plant Breeding representing support of $500,000.

About Monsanto Company Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources, such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: . Follow our business on Twitter® at, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows at, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed ( .

About the University of Illinois Agricultural Communications Program Agricultural Communications at the University of Illinois combines an education in communications and food and environmental systems to prepare students to navigate and communicate complex issues in food, agriculture, and the environment. Since 1961, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the College of Media have worked together to offer this joint, interdisciplinary program that is unlike any other in the country. For more information, go to .

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News Sources:

Manning (Monsanto), 314-694-4554
Kimberly Meenen (University of Illinois), 217-333-9355