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CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Oct. 25, 2010 – Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc. announced a $10,000 pledge to a unique University of Illinois initiative designed to develop a new generation of communicators equipped with the knowledge and experience to provide science-based information via a wide variety of media tools.

“In today’s 24-7 news cycle, agriculture needs to have highly trained communicators who can write, broadcast, blog, tweet and utilize other types of communication tools in a way that provides audiences with accurate and timely information,” says Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant. “This program has the potential to attract top talent for teaching and research.”

Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant (center) announced her donation to create a Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois
for agricultural communications. She is joined by her son, Jordan Lutz, who is a sophomore at the University studying
agricultural and biological engineering, and her husband, Allan Johnson, at the Illinois Homecoming celebration last weekend.

The University of Illinois plans to enhance its joint agricultural communications program with a first-of-its kind endowed chair in agricultural communications, named after distinguished professor James F. Evans, to support teaching and research in the field. As part of this joint program between the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and the College of Media, the university plans to have at least three teaching positions and include initiatives in environmental and consumer communications.

“Dr. Evans has been a wonderful teacher and mentor for hundreds in agricultural communications and we are extremely pleased that the chair will be named in his honor,” adds Wyant. “This donation is a way for my husband, Allan Johnson, and I to give back to those who have helped us grow and prosper as agricultural communicators and demonstrate our support for the development of more bright, capable experts who can communicate about food, feed, fiber, fuel, natural resources and rural development.”

Anyone wishing to donate or learn more can visit http://agcomm.aces.illinois.edu/ or contact Kimberly Meenen at the University of Illiniois ACES Office of Advancement at 217-333-9355.
Agri-Pulse is the nation’s leading provider of farm and rural policy information with offices in Washington, D. C., Little Rock, Arkansas and Camdenton, Missouri. For more information, go to www.Agri-Pulse.com

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