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If you have questions or would like more information, please contact:
Jeanne Forbis, Vice President, Communications
(628) 224-3053

Key Dates

Registration Begins:
June 29, 2021

Submissions Open:
August 2021

Registration Ends:
April 4, 2022

Submission Deadline:
April 4, 2022

Winners Announced:
June 2022

Wilbur-Ellis is marking its 100th anniversary by launching the new “Wilbur-Ellis Innovation Award.” The 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 billon people by 2050.

Each member of a student team must register to participate in the Innovation Award competition. Registration begins on June 29, 2021, and is open through the deadline for submitting proposals on Monday, April 4, 2022. After the competition closes, submissions will be evaluated and a $25,000 USD award will be presented to the team that submits the best proposal. $5,000 USD 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. To learn more, please read the Competition Rules and complete the Registration Form (on Quick Links). 

A Video Message From Wilbur-Ellis CEO John Buckley

“It’s very clear. A world where people have enough to eat is a safer, more secure world,” said John Buckley, Wilbur-Ellis President and Chief Executive Officer. “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.”

In discussing the purpose of the Innovation Award, Buckley said: “We hope the award encourages young people to think creatively and bring forward promising new ideas. 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.”