ADMI History

In January 2011, the Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) provided a $10 million gift to the University of Illinois to establish the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss. The institute was created in response to the rising amounts of staple crops lost each year in food chains around the world. The institute is an international hub for evaluating, creating, adapting, and disseminating economically viable technologies, practices, and systems that reduce postharvest losses of commodities in order to promote food security and environmental sustainability.

“As we look ahead to the middle of this century, global population is expected to reach more than 9 billion people, and the demand for agricultural products is expected to as much as double,” said Patricia A. Woertz, ADM chairman, CEO and president. “Clearly, preserving what is already grown is fundamental to feeding the world, and to making the most of the land, water, energy and other inputs already used to grow crops.”

Dr. Steve Sonka, professor of agricultural management, was the first director of ADMI (2011-2014), followed by Dr. Prasanta Kalita, professor of agricultural and biological engineering (2014-2017). Dr. Alex Winter-Nelson, professor of agricultural and consumer economics, was named as director in November 2017.

In ADMI’s early years, the research focus was on what is measured when assessing postharvest loss and how that measurement is conducted. ADMI funded several initial projects to create research capacity for PHL issues. In 2012, ADMI assisted in the planning and execution of a postharvest loss workshop in Mato Grosso, Brazil, the first PHL-focused event in the region. The same year also saw the beginning of a long partnership between the Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) project and ADMI. ADMI staff members participated in a number of international events to raise awareness of the issue of PHL and to raise the profile of ADMI as a resource in the field.

In 2015, the ADM Institute co-organized the First International Congress on Postharvest Loss Prevention in Rome, Italy, with the FAO, Rockefeller Foundation, and other supporters. For two and a half days, the PHL Congress brought scientists, policymakers, businesses, NGOs, donors, educators, and students together to share their knowledge and experiences in reducing postharvest losses.

Illinois & ADMI

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) was established in 1867 as a land-grant institution of higher learning.  UIUC has hundreds of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and its faculty members include Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and numerous members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. The University of Illinois is committed to research, teaching, and outreach to address global grand challenges.

Within the university, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) embodies expertise in teaching, research and extension related to all aspects of food and agriculture and applies that expertise globally through its Office of International Programs (OIP), which works to connect faculty, staff and students in the University of Illinois to institutional partnerships for increased impact and serves as a point of contact to facilitate international engagements.

ADMI works closely with ACES OIP and other food security programs based at Illinois, including the Soybean Innovation Lab working to develop soybean value chains in Africa and the AgReach program for extension systems strengthening. Both are part of International Food Security at Illinois (IFSI).