The Next 500 Agricultural Communicators

The Next 500 Agricultural Communicators

Oct 27
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

Dr. Jim Evans, Agricultural Communications Professor Emeritus, shares his thoughts about “The Next 500” agricultural communications scholarships. The major fundraising effort was announced Saturday, Oct. 24 during the agricultural communications homecoming huddle.

“We need to plow back into our field of interest,” my long-time mentor Hadley Read used to say.  His metaphor of returning ground cover to enrich soils for the future has resonated with me, as with many others who have discovered the importance of communications in the huge, vital world of food and agriculture. Over the years, I have been inspired by our graduates and others who generously “plow back.” They do so through guest lecturing on campus, hosting student field visits, offering words of encouragement, advising, spearheading the campaign for sustained faculty leadership, providing internships, lending financial support, teaching in communications workshops for FFA reporters, leading and helping professional ag communicator organizations, and many other ways.

In that spirit, I am honored to help announce and encourage scholarship support for “The Next 500” Illini agricultural communications students. Some 50 years ago, we initiated annual agricultural communications scholarships. They have provided funds and encouragement to hundreds of our students. Today, with escalating expense of a college education, scholarships based on merit and career interest are more important than ever to students and their families. I am proud to help launch a new, forward-looking “plow back” effort that will continue the tradition and serve “The Next 500.” 

Learn more about how you can support agricultural communications scholarships.

Dr. Evans pictured with several agricultural communications students who received ACES scholarships. Students completed the phrase “To me a scholarship means…”