UTIA launches International Center

Author: UTIA Advancement

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Category: News

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Donnie and Terry Smith have big ideas for solving world hunger – and the couple believes the solution begins at their alma mater. Their generosity began with endowing a chair and culminated November 16 with official launch of the Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture.

The Smith Center brings science-based, sustainable agricultural solutions to meet the challenge of nourishing the world’s population while restoring the planet on which we depend.

“We are celebrating Donnie and Terry, and their generosity to their alma mater,” said Tom Gill, Smith Center Endowed Chair for International Sustainable Agriculture. “We want to say thank you and celebrate their vision and transformational giving, which is already helping UTIA and global partners meet the challenge of feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050.”

The Smith Center facilitates UTIA faculty and staff in developing partnerships with local organizations and institutions all around the world. It focuses currently on developing programs with partners in six regions – Central America and the Caribbean, East Africa, Southeast Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, China, and Brazil. The Smith Center has secured funding for ongoing projects from private foundations and a range of federal agencies, including USAID and USDA.

The ceremony highlighted current work by the Smith Center and was attended by former US Ambassador to Rwanda Erica Barks-Ruggles; UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross; UT President Joe DiPietro; Jai Templeton, Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner; and Jane Jolley, senior field director for Senator Bob Corker.

UTIA celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery, and service. Together We Grow is a historic campaign to provide for the future of UTIA. It will take all of us to grow. Together, we can impact tomorrow.