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Serving: IL
Taoqi Shao and Kaylie Huizenga ACES
PARTNERED: Pictured are University of Illinois students Taoqi Shao (left) and Kaylie Huizenga. The Department of Animal Sciences is partnering with the Department of Computer Science to offer a new degree.

Quick Take: animal and computer sciences, disaster relief and more

U of I offers new animal sciences major focused on data. USDA announces disaster relief grants for flood-ravaged counties. Farmdoc schedules marketing webinar.

Animal and computer sciences degree comes to U of I

University of Illinois incoming freshmen can enroll in a new program that combines computer and animal sciences starting in fall 2021.

“The way the industry is moving, our students need experience handling large datasets, bioinformatics, genomic information and data from remote sensors. Having a background in coding, programming and advanced statistics will make them highly sought-after in today’s market,” says David J. Miller, undergraduate teaching coordinator for the new program and professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the U of I.

Officially named CS + Animal Sciences, the program follows the CS + Crop Sciences program as the second such degree to be offered in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

The degree will include lower- and upper-division courses in computer sciences, mathematics and statistics, as well as courses in animal sciences that can be tailored to each student’s career goals. Miller says the degree will be academically challenging and can be completed in four years.

Students transferring from community colleges and within the U of I can enter the program in fall 2020. Miller says the program will eventually enroll 15 students per year. 

Natural disaster aid grants available

USDA Rural Development is making $150 million in grants available across the country through the Community Facilities Program. The money will help rural communities continue their recovery from natural disasters, including flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Here’s a complete list of Illinois counties receiving help: Adams, Alexander, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Fulton, Cass, Greene, Henderson, Henry, Hancock, Jackson, Jersey, Knox, Madison, Mercer, Monroe, Pike, Randolph, Rock Island, Scott, Schuyler, St. Clair, Stephenson, Union and Whiteside.

Grant applications will be accepted on a continual basis and will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. For application details and additional information, contact your local USDA Rural Development office for assistance.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

Farmdoc to host marketing-year webinar

University of Illinois Farmdoc will host a webinar reviewing the 2019-20 marketing year from 2 to 3 p.m. on Oct. 10.

The webinar will be hosted by U of I professors Todd Hubbs and Scott Irwin of the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. They will discuss the implications of the Sept. 1 stocks report and October crop production report on corn supply-and-demand prospects for the marketing year.

A discussion of USDA’s Sept. 30 stocks report will provide a clearer picture of the impact on corn and soybean balance sheets, while also looking at USDA forecasts released Oct. 10.

The production forecasts will be combined with projections of marketing-year consumption in order to project the magnitude of year-ending stocks.

Register for the webinar online.



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