- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago nonprofit and the Illinois Farm Bureau hope to bring the state’s agriculture and business industries together to turn the city and state into a global hub for farm and food-production.

The Chicago Community Trust and the Farm Bureau say in a statement that what they’re calling The Food and Agriculture RoadMap for Illinois outlines plans they hope will create jobs, help protect the environment and employ new technologies.

Former University of Illinois President Robert Easter is part of the initiative. He said the plan could position Chicago and the state “as the epicenter of the global, national, regional, and local food and agriculture systems.”

The plan calls for innovation, entrepreneurship, and research that the organizers believe will create economic growth and draw companies in food-production and related businesses.

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