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HungerU exhibit to visit U of I quad, raise awareness of food security issues

Published October 27, 2015
Hunger U graphic

URBANA, Ill. - The University of Illinois main quad will be a stop on a nationwide tour of Hunger U – a mobile exhibit to raise awareness of nutrition and food security issues. Hunger U will be stationed on the north end of the quad (south side of the Illini Union) on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors can pedal tractors around the quad and participate in events to win prizes. The interactive games and displays provide information about the significance of modern agriculture and how it affects the world’s food crisis and the state of food security in over 100 countries.

Lulu Rodriguez, director of the Agricultural Communications Program under the joint auspices of the Colleges of ACES and Media, believes Hunger U’s visit will not only to spark conversations about how today’s farmers are helping feed a hungry world but will also educate about the critical role that modern agriculture plays every day in putting food on the table.

“Advocating for agriculture or ‘ag-vocating’ through awareness campaigns is just one example of how agricultural communications can be applied. Hunger U is a prime example of Ag Comm in action,” she says.

Agricultural communications is a specialization within the field of communications in which majors develop technical expertise and hone skills that enable them to communicate about increasingly complex issues related to food, agriculture, energy, the environment and natural resources and related policy.

“In Ag Comm courses at U of I, students explore some of the most controversial and newsworthy issues of our time—GMOs, water quality and access, climate change, antibiotic usage, food labeling, and more,” says agricultural communications instructor Leia Kedem. “Hunger U’s visit to campus will be a great opportunity for students and the general public to learn more about today’s critical food issues.”

For more information about Hunger U, including a complete list of sponsors, visit To learn more about the Agricultural Communications Program, visit

Dean Hauser Testimony to U.S. House Agricultural Subcommittee

Published September 28, 2015
ACES Dean Robert Hauser
ACES Dean Robert Hauser

URBANA, Ill. - Robert Hauser, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences has been invited to testify at the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee hearing beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Hauser’s testimony will focus on research issues related to major field crops and renewable energy crops, and the associated role of USDA/NIFA funding. The subcommittee will also take the opportunity to discuss policy challenges facing the research community, such as extension and outreach, mechanisms to leverage federal resources, cooperation between the various institutions, and other issues of importance to the community.

The hearing, which will last until about noon, will be streamed live on the House Agriculture Committee’s website. Shortly afterwards, video of the hearing will be available.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to speak on food security

Published August 26, 2015
ACES Mumford Hall

URBANA, Ill. - United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will speak at the University of Illinois at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, about the role of public research universities in addressing international food security. The event, hosted by the International Food Security at Illinois (IFSI) initiative, will be held at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, in Urbana. 

Watch the livestream here starting at 12:30 p.m.

Tom Vilsack serves as the nation's 30th Secretary of Agriculture. As leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Vilsack’s mission is to help strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities, and create new markets for rural America. Prior to his appointment, Vilsack served two terms as the governor of Iowa, in the Iowa State Senate, and as the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

The event is free and open to the public. Due to space limitations, registration is requested. To attend, visit A reception will follow.

Vilsack’s talk is part of the IFSI lecture series. IFSI is a campus-wide program, housed in the College of  Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, that focuses the expertise and resources of the U of I to addressing the global challenge of ensuring that all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food.

“We are very pleased that Secretary Vilsack is joining us to share his thoughts on the role of public research universities in addressing international food security,” said College of ACES Dean Robert Hauser. “With the Secretary’s advice and guidance, the College of ACES will continue to focus on the food system – from production to processing and distribution, to policy and consumer issues—in a way that leads to abundant and sustainable food for everyone throughout the world.”  

For questions about Vilsack’s visit to U of I, contact or 217-244-2295. For more information on International Food Security at Illinois, visit:



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