It’s sitting down with a member of Congress and discussing global issues. It’s developing a new scientific formula. It’s creating efficiencies for a product to be made faster and safer. It’s your boots on the ground, in the dirt and soil, in the lab, or in the classroom. And it’s all making a difference to the future of global food security.
For the past five years, Land O’Lakes has been challenging college sophomores from all backgrounds to start thinking about agriculture and the future of food through a different lens. The Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders program provides an internship to college sophomores from all majors, where they have the opportunity to understand agriculture -- from the farm, to policy, to food security challenges in developing countries, through experiential learning and mentorship.
But don’t take it from us: Take a look back at the last five years of the Global Food Challenge in this video:
Over the course of the summer of 2020, up to eight Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders will travel to key Land O’Lakes locations including headquarters in Minnesota, member cooperative and farm locations and Land O’Lakes Venture37 projects in East Africa. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“It can be difficult to know what your purpose is as a student. Although ‘purpose’ may change throughout life, the experiences of this summer have helped refine my purpose – to work to make the lives of others better through agriculture and leadership. I witnessed firsthand how agriculturists are facing similar challenges around the world,” says Dane Chapman, a former Emerging Leader.
Applications are open for 2021 (students from the 11 partner Universities listed below are eligible to apply)
Iowa State University
Kansas State University
North Carolina A&T
Pennsylvania State University
The George Washington University
University of Florida
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Our Emerging Leaders come from a variety of backgrounds: engineering, agribusiness, marketing, policy and many more. During their internship, Emerging Leaders work on real-life projects with Land O’Lakes teams in areas like ag tech and sustainability. And as they’ve graduated, they've also found fulfilling careers both here at Land O’Lakes and beyond.
Still not sure agriculture is the right fit for you? Emerging Leader Katie Atkins had her doubts, too – but was intrigued. As a Management Information Systems and Finance major at the University of Minnesota, she thought she might be out of place with the Global Food Challenge. But the experience turned out to be a grateful introduction for her to an industry with a mission to feed the world.
“Through the Global Food Challenge, I gained broad exposure to and even more respect for agriculture. I traveled 22,000 miles with passionate, driven peers from all walks of life, witnessing the hard work, heart and honesty associated with this industry,” says Katie.