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Offices and Services:
FARM Illinois and the Vision for Illinois Agriculture
Statewide strategies for Illinois’ all-important food and agriculture industry continue to unfold with the recent initiation of FARM Illinois: A Partnership for Competitiveness and Sustainable Growth in Food, Agriculture, and Agribusiness. FARM Illinois is bringing together Illinois’ top agricultural, business, and economic leaders to develop and advocate for the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated strategic plan for Illinois and the Chicago region to ensure that Illinois is meeting the 21st Century challenge of global food security.
Sponsored by the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust, in partnership with the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Vision for Illinois Agriculture, FARM Illinois is led by Dr. Robert Easter, President of the University of Illinois, and overseen by a high-level Leadership Council comprised of more than 25 experts and distinguished leaders with renowned experience in agriculture, international markets, global food security, sustainability, conservation, community development, and related issues. At the first Leadership Council meeting on September 29, Dr. Robert Thompson, professor emeritus of the University of Illinois, laid out the case for strategic action to achieve global food security, with Illinois playing a crucial role.
FARM Illinois is an outgrowth of the Illinois Food and Agriculture Summit that was held a year ago by the Vision for Illinois Agriculture at the UIC campus. The Vision for Illinois Agriculture began in 2008 to develop a plan for growth in the food and agriculture sector of Illinois, outlining goals and significant steps to address human and capital resources, business environment, community vitality, innovation, and collaboration needs in Illinois. While tackling those issues, it became clear that civic and business communities throughout the state, especially in our major metropolitan areas, have common interests with the food and agriculture community. The current initiative was born out of that idea and championed by the U of I Board Chairman, Chris Kennedy, and participants in the original Vision for Illinois Agriculture.