Land O’ Lakes donated $500,000 to the School of Media and Public Affair’s climate project, Planet Forward.
The donation will the project’s operation and events over the next three years, according to a University release said.
Planet Forward, which began in 2009, is a project designed to use media and storytelling to raise awareness of energy, climate and sustainability issues.
“Planet Forward is a powerful platform for increasing the discussion around the importance of food and agriculture,” Chris Policinski, the president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, said in the release. “Planet Forward engages leaders from a variety of perspectives and, importantly, engages our future leaders by deepening their understanding of food and agricultural issues and engaging them in the critical dialogue.”
SMPA director Frank Sesno said in the release that the donation “is an investment in growing the Planet Forward Project and in connecting our students and faculty.”
“Typically, agriculture companies have made major gifts to land-grant schools involved directly in agriculture,” he said. “They deliberately chose us because of their relationship with Planet Forward and because of our location in Washington and our students involved in policy and politics and science.”
Land O’ Lakes has partnered with Planet Forward since 2013 when the company helped fund Planet Forward’s annual summit. Last year, Policinski discussed the interaction between climate change, food and agriculture at the summit.
Land O’ Lakes also started the Global Food Challenge internship, which has been awarded to several GW students. Last summer, SMPA professor Imani Cheers and Land O’ Lakes interns traveled to four countries in Africa as a part of the program.
Planet Forward will hold its annual summit, focused on sustainable cities, later this week.