Lindsay Mitchell

Oct 09, 2013  |  Today's News

The Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) will soon participate in a forum to forward the cause of agriculture in Illinois.

The Vision for Illinois Agriculture, a coalition of Illinois commodity groups and associations, agri-business, and Universities, will host the Illinois Food and Agriculture Summit on October 21 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  The event will hopefully open up dialogue on what agriculture means to the state, what agriculture needs to be successful, and how the urban parts of Illinois and our Illinois government can help.

The Vision for Illinois Agriculture seeks ultimately to grow agricultural production and exports to a top three ranking in the United States through the growth of both commodity and value added production, enable food manufacturing growth to a top three ranking in the United States, and lead the United States as the alternative bio-based outcome leader through the adoption of new technologies.

These lofty goals cannot be attained without the cooperation of the entire state.

Rodney Weinzierl, Executive Director for ICGA, will be on the concluding panel entitled, “Where do we go from here” which attempts to summarize the day into action steps to continue forward progress.  A lofty goal indeed.

The full agenda for the day is as follows.  Registration for the event is $40 and registration closes on October 14. 


9:30 a.m.

Welcome - Philip Nelson, President, Illinois Farm Bureau



9:50 a.m.

World Business Chicago: Accelerating Economic Growth in North America's Global Business Center

Jeff Malehorn, President & CEO, World Business Chicago


10:10 a.m.

Food and Agriculture - Critical Links to Our Shared Future

Dr. Bob Easter, President, University of Illinois



10:45 a.m.

Panel Discussion - What does the food and agriculture sector need to do to reach its full potential?

     Marc Schulman, President, Eli's Cheesecake Company

     Jim Schultz, CEO, Open Prairie Ventures

     David Lehman, Managing Director of Commodity Research

       & Product Development, CME Group



11:45 a.m.

Luncheon - Chicago's Connection to Food and Agriculture

Steve Koch, Deputy Mayor of Chicago



1:30 p.m.

Benefits of a Statewide Plan for Agriculture:  How Government, Business and Academia Can Work Together - Chris Kennedy, Chairman, University of Illinois Board of Trustees and Past President of Merchandise Mart



2:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion - How do we move forward from here?

     David Miller, President & CEO, iBIO / iBIO Institute

     Steve Hill, Sr. Director, Central Research, Kraft Foods

     Rod Weinzierl, Executive Director, Illinois Corn Growers Association



3:15 p.m.

Concluding Comments

Bob Flider, Director, Illinois Department of Agriculture


3:30 p.m.