ACES hosts international perspectives seminar for Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program

Twenty-nine emerging leaders in Illinois agriculture visited the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) on February 8-9, 2018, to gain an international perspective on agricultural policies and regulations as part of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP).

The ACES Office of International Programs (OIP) coordinated a diverse and knowledgeable line-up of speakers for the attendees, who are members of the ILAP Class of 2018. The two-day program focused on the culture, economy, agriculture, and political issues in Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Taiwan, where the group will travel as part of their curriculum.

The seminar participants were welcomed by Dean Kimberlee Kidwell and enjoyed presentations on relevant topics presented by ACES faculty: 

Farm and Trade Policy Discussion by Dr. Jonathan Coppess, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

Economic Implications of Agricultural Transformation Abroad by Dr. Alex Winter-Nelson, Professor, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and Director, Office of International Programs

Managing the Changing Mekong Delta Landscape in Vietnam by Dr. Ken Olson, Professor Emeritus, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

The program also included cultural presentations on the focus countries and tips for healthy and safe international business travel:

3,000 Kilometers of History from Coast to Coast by Ly Dinh, Graduate Student from VietNam

China’s Impact on Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Taiwan via Skype by Damien Ma, Fellow and Associate Director, Think Tank, Paulson Institute

Tips for International Business Travel – Health & Safety by Andrew Collum, Associate Director, Safety and Security, Illinois International Programs

Current Issues Facing Pork Value Chains in Vietnam: Findings from the PigRisk study via Skype by Dr. Karl M. Rich, Principal Scientist - Policy, Impact, & Value Chains, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)-Hanoi, Vietnam

Agriculture in China and the Southeast Asia Region by Mark Frank, PhD Candidate, Department of History

Discover Taiwan: The Heart of Asia by Philip Kuo, Graduate Student from Taiwan

How to Win Friends & Influence People in Greater China by Dr. Jeff Martin, Professor, Department of Anthropology

Economic & Cultural Overview – Taiwan by Robert Chang, Director, Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Chicago and David Dong, Education Division Director, Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Chicago

The attendees left with a greater international understanding that will be beneficial for their careers and for the future of agriculture in Illinois.  

The IALP ( is a non-profit educational corporation that recognizes the need for strong agricultural leadership and serves to develop knowledgeable and effective spokespersons to become policy and decision makers for the agricultural industry. This seminar was endowed by Ron and Melanie Warfield.

Article submitted by Leslie Myrick, 217-244-5373

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