According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), fall armyworm was first confirmed on the African continent in 2016. This destructive pest can feed on 80 different crop species, including corn, a food staple in Africa. It has been found in more than 30 African countries and poses a serious threat to the food security, income and livelihoods of people.
As participants in the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge during the 2017–18 academic year, we learned a great deal about how business can have a positive effect on advancing agriculture, helping mitigate food insecurity and turning something that seems insignificant into something transformative. Our roles as Emerging Leaders in the program changed us forever and helped us further guide our career paths to an agricultural focus.
Global Food Challenge - Emerging Leaders for Food Security™
Food security is when people everywhere have enough safe, nutritious food to eat every day. It’s a basic human right. But it’s not a reality. And with 9 billion of us by 2050, feeding the world just won’t be possible unless we all work together today.
The Global Food Challenge – Emerging Leaders for Food Security is one of the ways we’re taking on global hunger and the challenge of feeding 9 billion people – together with a group of exceptional and passionate college students.
Here’s how the program works:
Every year, students from a variety of educational backgrounds at partner universities submit a one-minute video application to Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Land O’Lakes will select six exceptional college sophomores to be Emerging Leaders for Food Security.
We match Emerging Leaders with a Land O’Lakes mentor and a project team to work on a project for a Land O’Lakes business unit.
Emerging Leaders receive a 12-week paid summer internship to work with industry experts at Land O’Lakes, Inc.
To learn about hunger, agriculture and sustainability, students travel to key Land O’Lakes locations including headquarters in Minnesota, member cooperatives locations, and Land O’Lakes International Development projects in Africa.
Emerging Leaders present their final projects at the end of their internship in August.
I hope to take quantitative steps toward increasing food security throughout the world and spread the word about the importance of agriculture and its role in feeding the world.
- Audrey Sebastian, Emerging Leader, 2016-2017
Students from partnering universities nationwide
Aug. 20 – Oct. 10, 2018
6 chosen for a paid internship
Emerging Leaders explore food security, agricultual challenges, Africa and more!