Blog Update
 collaboration
Unlike Toto, we didn’t bless the rains in Africa but rather were blessed by them. These blessings came in several forms, from impressing upon us the power of education to igniting our passions, which motivated us all to improve and impact the future.
Blog Update
 collaboration
Saturday, June 16, will mark a life-changing day for the 2018–19 class of Emerging Leaders in the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge program. At that time, the 10-member group of college sophomores will travel to Lilongwe, Malawi, for the first leg of its 10-day trip to Africa. The group will travel to South Africa for the second half of the trip.
About The Program

Incredible Journeys

New vistas and experiences can topple fixed ideas – and reveal fresh possibilities for the future. For Emerging Leaders and their mentors, the impact of the Global Food Challenge has been nothing short of transformative.

Revisit travel highlights from the 2016-2017 experience through the eyes of 11 college students, Emerging Leaders for Food Security

Itinerary: 2016 – 2017 Emerging Leaders for Food Security

The Emerging Leaders first met at Land O’Lakes headquarters in Arden Hills, Minnesota, in November 2016 just a few weeks after learning they were selected as the newest cohort of Emerging Leaders. The next two days were spent getting to know one another, as well as Land O’Lakes, and what it meant to be an Emerging Leader. Emerging Leaders also participated in a media training to better prepare them as advocates for agriculture before heading back to campus for the spring semester.

The beginning of an internship of a lifetime started in May when Emerging Leaders gathered at Land O’Lakes corporate headquarters in Minnesota to kick off their 11-week internship experience. Emerging leaders joined nearly 200 other interns at Land O’Lakes to learn what it’s like to work of a company that moves agricultural innovation forward through various aspects of the business.

Before learning about agriculture on a global scale, Emerging Leaders visited a dairy farmer in their own background. At Roerview Dairy, Emerging Leaders saw advances in technology with robotic milking stations that improve efficiencies on the farm.

Only a few week later, Emerging Leaders and university mentors traveled to Tanzania and South Africa to learn the importance of understanding intricacies of an agricultural challenge in developing country before trying to develop a solution for smallholder farmers.

Students then met with policymakers in Washington, D.C. and learned about agricultural law on Capitol Hill. After visiting the nation’s capital, the Emerging Leaders then split off into pairs and visited member cooperative locations in Iowa, Oregon, Illinois, Kansas and Indiana.

The final weeks of the internship were spent at Land O’Lakes headquarters combining knowledge, experiences and learnings from the summer as each team prepared a final presentation. Each team delivered an actionable proposal to an agricultural or food insecurity challenge identified that supports Land O’Lakes purpose to feed human progress during the 30-minute presentations.

Roerview Dairy – Minnesota. Emerging leaders toured a dairy operation and learned how technology is used throughout the dairy to further their knowledge.

 

Tanzania, Africa. Emerging Leaders, university ambassadors and Land O’ Lakes staff spent the morning laying the foundation for an administrative building at a local school.

Tanzania, Africa. Emerging Leaders, university ambassadors and Land O’ Lakes staff spent the morning laying the foundation for an administrative building at a local school.

 

Revisit travel highlights from the 2015-2016 experience through the eyes of 10 college students, Emerging Leaders for Food Security

Itinerary: 2015 – 2016 Emerging Leaders for Food Security

The Emerging Leaders first met in October 2015 at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa – they had no idea that they would form a close-knit family for the next year, as well as meeting with some of the most prominent leaders in food security from around the globe.

After completing their university coursework in May, Emerging Leaders gathered at Land O’Lakes corporate headquarters in Minnesota, where they kicked off their 11-week internship experience.

The first, unforgettable stop on their journey: the two East African countries of Rwanda and Kenya. There, Emerging Leaders and their university mentors met with dozens of farmer communities, international development organizations, and government officials. They exchanged ideas, learned about local farming practices, and saw the amazing growth and hope both countries had in agriculture.

Students then met with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and learned about agricultural policy on the Hill. Also, by pure coincidence, Congress passed the GMO Labeling Law that week after years of debates and revisions. After visiting the nation’s capital, the Emerging Leaders then split off into pairs and visited member cooperative locations in Iowa, Oregon, Ohio, Kansas, and Indiana.

 

JTP Farms – Dorchester, Wisconsin. Students learned the fundamentals of the U.S. milk value chain at a Wisconsin dairy farm – a point of comparison for their subsequent visit to dairy farms in Rwanda, Africa.

 

 

 

 

Capitol Hill – Washington, D.C. Students caught Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum between meetings during one of the busiest weeks on the Hill.

 

 

Rwanda, Africa. Emerging Leaders, University representatives, and Land O’ Lakes staff spent the morning helping Rwandan genocide survivor Agnes rebuild her cow shed. 

 

 

Maseno University – Kenya, Africa. Emerging Leaders learned about Kenyan corn farming at a research plot alongside Maseno University students planning to go into agriculture post-graduation. 

 

 

WinField Answer Plot – Iowa. Emerging Leaders saw firsthand how producers use WinField Answer Plots to gain insights for growing crops like corn and soybeans. They also got to taste sweet corn fresh off the stalk!

 

Revisit travel highlights from the 2014 – 2015 experience through the eyes of 10 college students, Emerging Leaders for Food Security.

 

Itinerary: 2014 – 2015 Emerging Leaders for Food Security

After completing their university coursework in May, Emerging Leaders gathered at Land O’Lakes corporate headquarters in Minnesota, where they kicked off their 11-week internship experience.

The first, unforgettable stop on their journey: the two southern Africa countries of Malawi and Zambia. There, Emerging Leaders and their university mentors met with dozens of farmer communities, international development organizations and government officials. They exchanged ideas, learned about local practices and framed new opportunities in international agriculture.

Students then met with policymakers in Washington, D.C., followed by visits to key Land O’Lakes locations in the United States.

 

JTP Farms, near Curtiss, Wisconsin. Students learn the fundamentals of the U.S. milk value chain at a Wisconsin dairy farm – a point of comparison for their subsequent visit to African dairy farms.

Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. Students got a close-up view of agricultural policymaking in Washington D.C., meeting with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum, Indiana Representatives Jackie Walorski and Todd Rokita and others.

Dowa, Malawi – Africa. University of Minnesota mentor LaJoy Spears and Emerging Leader Mandi Egeland chat with village children who had just mastered the alphabet in English. “I will never forget how excited they were,” says Mandi.

Zambia, Africa. Emerging Leaders learn that life is better for these villagers in Zambia since their successful goat herd development project.

 

I am most excited about being a part of something larger than myself. The issues and solutions I will work on will impact the lives of those here in my community and around the world.

- Katie Atkins, Emerging Leader, 2016-2017