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Broadening agricultural development in Africa
The Office of International Programs and International Food Security at Illinois (IFSI) recently had the honor of welcoming a distinguished alumnus, Dr. Jimmy Smith, back to campus. Dr. Smith serves as Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute.
I loved how Dr. Smith started his lecture by paying tribute to the University of Illinois as the setting for one of the most formative stages of his life and one where he and his wife enjoyed raising their children. He went on to specifically name and thank the many mentors he had here; five of these have passed on, but he still wanted to honor them. He also thanked several people still on campus, some in the audience whom he felt indebted to, specifically paying tribute to Dean Merchen’s “Animal Science 320” which he said he would “never forget.”
Smith certainly lived up to his role as a “distinguished speaker” even though he was humble about this. He closed by encouraging the students and researchers in the audience to use the training opportunities and partnerships of the U of I, of which he named himself as a great beneficiary, to help Africa’s development.
If you missed this important lecture where he presented a case for broadened agricultural development in Africa, check out this summary and video recording.