Support Agricultural Communications

Bring Home “The Next 500” Illini Ag Comm

The University of Illinois has honed the skills of hundreds of the food and agriculture industry’s top communicators. Alumni of its Agricultural Communications Program have been instrumental in ensuring that the tradition of excellence continues through the decades.

The Agricultural Communications Program at Illinois is like no other—a one-of-a-kind joint program between the College of ACES and the College of Media, home to the first (and only) faculty endowment in the Ag Communications discipline, award-winning faculty, engaging coursework, and an Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) chapter [kkm1]  twice named the nation’s best. None of that would have been possible without the passionate support of friends and alumni.

The need continues.

The demand for well-trained communicators in the food, agriculture, and environmental fields continues to grow. To meet this demand, the Agricultural Communications Program needs to attract the best and brightest students. The availability of undergraduate scholarships significantly influences a student’s college decision.

Preparing the next generation of agricultural communicators requires educational accessibility. Let's bring the next decade of agricultural communications students to Champaign. Generous contributions by individuals, companies and organizations create scholarship opportunities for students who may otherwise not have the financial capacity to attend the University of Illinois.

A variety of giving options are available. The Agricultural Communications Scholarship Fund provides unrestricted support to both incoming and returning students. Donors may also establish named and endowed scholarships for Agricultural Communications students.

Donations also can be made by sending a check to the ACES Office of Advancement, c/o Kimberly Meenen, 203 Mumford Hall, 1301 W. Gregory Ave., Urbana, IL 61801. Make checks payable to the “University of Illinois Foundation” and write “Ag Comm Scholarship Fund” on the memo line. 

Does your company offer a corporate matching gift program? Make your gift go even farther by requesting your company to match your contribution.

Give online by designating the Agricultural Communications scholarship fund or contact the College of ACES Office of Advancement at 217-333-9355 or

“Plow back” to support The Next 500

Photo of James Evans

By Jim Evans, professor emeritus

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.

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.” 

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