Whether students are pursuing a degree in agriculture, food science, business, technology or any other major, their skillset could be applied to solve an urgent problem: how to feed a growing population.
In 2021, Wilbur-Ellis marked its 100th anniversary. As part of a year-long celebration, the company launched the Wilbur-Ellis Innovation Award. The Innovation Award invites student teams from U.S. colleges and universities to propose new and better approaches for providing food for more people – a critical imperative, since the world population is expected to increase by 2 billion people by 2050. The program offers a $25,000 USD award for the best idea.
“We hope the award encourages young people to think creatively and bring forward promising new ideas,” said John Buckley, Wilbur-Ellis President and CEO. “With this focus on feeding a growing population, the teams could explore more efficient and sustainable ways to produce, distribute, prepare, or package food. Teams might look at alternative food ingredients, reducing food waste, or finding new ways to alleviate food insecurity. Whatever it is, we want to encourage out-of-the-box thinking.”
Registration and submission for the Wilbur-Ellis Innovation Award are open now and will close on the submission deadline on April 4, 2022, after which the submissions will be evaluated and a $25,000 award will be presented to the team that submits the best proposal. $5,000 honorable mention awards may also be given. In the first year, the award competition is open to U.S.-based student teams (undergraduate or graduate), with a goal of expanding to other countries in the future.
Beyond the monetary prize, the Wilbur-Ellis Innovation Award adds significant value to the curriculum students are already enrolled in. The Innovation Award is a great opportunity to develop problem-solving and team-building skills, strengthen resumes for post-graduation job hunting, and help solve a major challenge facing the world.
“It’s very clear: A world where people have enough to eat is a safer, more secure world,” added Buckley. “Since Wilbur-Ellis was founded 100 years ago, we’ve worked with our customers and suppliers to put food on tables around the world. So, it’s appropriate that as a legacy of our 100th anniversary, we’re engaging the next generation in this important work.”
To learn more about the Wilbur-Ellis Innovation Award, please visit www.wilburellis.com/innovation-award or go to the Wilbur-Ellis website (www.wilburellis.com) and click on Innovation Award at the top of the home page.