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Each year, more than 2,500 IFT members, Sections, Divisions, companies, and allied organizations support IFT programs through donations to the IFT Foundation. These programs help to prepare the next wave of food scientists and technologists.
Earlier this year, members of the Foundation Board introduced A Taste for Science, a campaign supporting programs that stimulate an interest in science, develop awareness of the science behind food, attract bright young minds to food science and technology academic programs and careers, and develop the technical and leadership potential of young professionals and students.
• Stimulate. The livelihood of IFT and our profession relies on our young professionals and students. To ensure that we continue to attract these individuals to our profession, IFT and Discovery Education developed and distributed to 18,000 public high schools nationwide two multimedia kits—one for school counselors and one for science teachers. More than 95% of the recipients have adopted the material as part of their classroom curriculum or plan to do so in the near future.
• Nurture. The IFT Foundation encourages students to pursue food science and related curricula by providing scholarships. More than 50 universities offer programs approved for IFT Foundation scholarships.
IFT also encourages outstanding research in food science and technology by awarding more than 30 graduate fellowships annually. More than 40 universities in the United States and Canada offer food science graduate programs.
And IFT provides leadership training to IFT Student Association chapter presidents to help them become successful food science professionals.
• Sustain. Food industry veterans make presentations to food science students at university campuses through IFT’s New Product Development Road Shows financed by the Foundation. They illustrate the complex interaction and teamwork required between business and technology functions for a successful commercial product launch. This interactive forum establishes a bridge between academia and industry and brings students face-to-face with industry’s product development process. Students identify mentors and forge resource networks that will address development needs throughout their careers.
Access to leading research addresses the ongoing needs of food science professionals. The Expert Report on Antimicrobial Resistance released during the IFT Annual Meeting joins the list of comprehensive technical papers IFT has produced, with Foundation support, on important and timely food issues.
The Foundation’s A Taste for Science campaign is generously supported by IFT members who are dedicated to the future of food science and technology. Other important contributions to the Foundation have resulted in the following:
• More than 2,700 scholarships and fellowships awarded since 1985.
• Continuing-education resources, including electronic education courses.
• Career guidance resources, workshops for high school teachers, and exhibitions at National Science Teacher Association meetings.
• Science-based communication programs and resources, including workshops for journalists and IFT Expert Reports on topics such as “Functional Foods” and “Biotechnology and Foods.”
• Diversity initiatives, including translation of materials, mentored scholarships, internships, and an alliance with Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS).
• IFT Student Association programs.
• Six one-year IFT Congressional fellowships awarded to provide food science-based information to policymakers.
• Achievement Awards recognizing innovation and food science achievements.
• Support of the 12th World Congress of Food Science and Technology.
Funding by the Foundation allows us to continue to grow and to implement programs that embrace sound science even beyond the borders of the scientific community. The Foundation Board is dedicated to fundraising that supports core IFT programs; identifies knowledge gaps through research; distributes science-based information to consumers; and strengthens IFT’s position as a global leader in food science expertise.
Demonstrate your commitment to the future of food science and technology through an annual gift to the Foundation. For more information, contact Elizabeth Plummer, Manager of IFT Foundation Development at [email protected]. We hope you’ll join us in nurturing the next generation of food science professionals as they acquire a taste for science.
by Margaret A. Lawson,
IFT President, 2005–06
Technical Services Manager,
T. Hasegawa USA, Cerritos, Calif.