Lincoln, Nebraska, Aug. 7, 2018 – Mark Wilkins, professor of biological systems engineering and food science and technology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has been named Nebraska Corn Checkoff presidential chair.
The Nebraska Corn Board made a $2 million commitment to the University of Nebraska Foundation in 2014 to establish the permanently endowed chair. The endowment provides annual support to the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources for research and development related to corn demand.
“We’re excited to have Mark Wilkins as the first Nebraska Corn Checkoff Presidential Chair,” said David Merrell, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “Our mission has always been focused on promoting the value of corn by creating opportunities. Through this position, we look forward to exploring new uses of corn that will benefit our state’s farmers and economy.”
Wilkins has been with the university since 2016. As director of the Industrial Agricultural Products Center, he works to build new partnerships across campus and with industry to develop new and innovative products that add value to agricultural crops.
“Developing new markets is critical to the long-term sustainability of the corn industry,” Wilkins said. “I look forward to working with university and industry partners to identify opportunities to increase the demand for corn, which will be beneficial for producers in Nebraska and beyond.”
Before coming to Nebraska, Wilkins was a professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering at Oklahoma State University, where he taught courses in bioprocessing, food processing and renewable energy. Wilkins holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and biological engineering from Purdue University. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.