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Breaking Boundaries is Key to Avert a Food System Crisis

The University of Minnesota’s Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program (IFSL) is pleased to share ‘Breaking Boundaries to Avoid a Food System Crisis’ in Food Safety Magazine's February/March issue. The publication’s cover story, authored by IFSL Program Director Dr. Jennifer van de Ligt, delves deep into the boundaries that food system leaders need to break in order to address grand challenges in the global food system.

“Our food system is facing daunting challenges that will require us to break boundaries to avoid a food system crisis,” said Dr. Jennifer van de Ligt, University of Minnesota’s Integrated Food Leadership Program Director. “If we intend to feed almost 10 billion people by 2050, while assuring a robust, healthy planet for future generations, we must shift to a systems-thinking approach in order to better understand and address the challenges facing our food system. The approach and vision shared in this article is the foundation upon which the IFSL program was built upon.”

Designed for working food professionals, the IFSL program expands emerging food system leaders’ knowledge, and exposes them to new and different approaches that help them be more effective in their professions and enables them to have a greater impact on helping address overall food system challenges.

"As a cohort member in the University of Minnesota's IFSL Program, I've been given a window into parts of the food system I wouldn't have otherwise understood,” said Elleni Paulson, a member of the IFSL program’s inaugural cohort and food system communications professional. “In my professional role, I’m tasked with bringing innovative approaches to our agriculture and food industry clients. Through the IFSL program, I’ve gained knowledge and skills to be an advocate to break down boundaries necessary to support a more effective and sustainable system."

As highlighted in the Food Safety Magazine article, future food system leaders need to embrace and take holistic actions to address today’s most pressing challenges. Through the University of Minnesota’s IFSL program, the 2020 cohort and future enrollees will strengthen and practice systems-thinking strategies related directly to the food system while improving their leadership skills. This will enable them to lead the change that is essential to sustainably feeding the future.

Global food system stakeholders will receive a copy of the February/March issue of Food Safety Magazine later this month at the 2020 Global Food Safety Initiative annual conference. Attendees at upcoming the Pittcon Conference and The Refrigerated Foods Show will also receive the issue featuring the thought-provoking cover story.

About the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program
Delivering a comprehensive and actionable educational experience, the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program (IFSL) broadens the knowledge and understanding of the global food supply chain and interdependencies across the food system, while promoting critical thinking and problem solving across disciplines. IFSL is a Post-Baccalaureate Regents Certificate program designed for working professionals and is aimed at bridging the gap between traditional food system education and a professional leadership program.
For IFSL program inquiries, contact Jennifer van de Ligt at 612-624-2567 or IFSL Program applications are accepted on a rolling basis for the next cohort that begins in September 2020. For more information, visit

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