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Unprecedented Times Require Unprecedented Support

Business as usual. It’s been a while since any of us have uttered these words. Our world is in flux, challenging our global food system in ways it has never experienced before. But I don’t need to tell you this. You are living this every day.

It’s times like these we look for support, for guidance, and for inspiration. It’s times like these that we need to lean on each other as a global profession and as a collective dedicated to feeding our planet safe, nutritious, and sustainable food. It’s times like these that we need IFT.

I have been a member of IFT since 1973. I can’t help but reflect on how much IFT has been there for me throughout the years, and there has not been a time when this has been more evident than now. Our global pandemic has stretched and challenged our profession in extraordinary ways and IFT and its volunteer community have consistently risen to the challenge. Here are just a few recent examples:

  • The development of responsive COVID-19 related programming including fireside chat discussions, podcasts, blog posts, online teaching resources, and IFT Connect community discussion forums to help members share challenges, resources, and potential solutions
  • The May issue of Food Technology magazine dedicated to covering important topics related to pandemic challenges facing the industry
  • Recent IFT advocacy efforts informing policy makers about the importance of funding food science research, which has helped contribute to a 33% increase in AFRI food research funding
  • Thought leadership and research shared at IFT’s recent SHIFT20 Virtual Event and Expo and through IFT’s member-driven section and division events addressing critical issues impacting the industry (SHIFT20 on-demand registration still available!)
  • A recently launched DEI Discussions professional development series where members are invited to participate in discussions that thoughtfully examine current diversity, equity, and inclusion related topics
  • Over $100,000 in scholarships and travel grants awarded to future food scientists in the last year through IFT’s foundation Feeding Tomorrow.
This coming year will continue to challenge us all. We will need creativity, ingenuity, and resiliency to tackle the challenges ahead. I encourage you to take full advantage of IFT’s career development, newsletters, IFTNEXT, and publications resources as well as IFT's supportive community as you navigate our “next normal.” Your success and the success of our community is critical to helping advance the science of food and its application across the global food system—now more than ever—and IFT is here to support you. Because when we make better food, we make a better future for all. 
 

About the Author

Noel Anderson, PhD
IFT President, 2020–2021
[email protected]
Noel Anderson

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