Growing up on my family’s hobby farm in rural southeast Wisconsin, I developed my passion for agriculture at a young age. My summers were dedicated to prepping show pigs and cattle for our county fair, and the rest of the year I cared for my family’s home-farrowed swine and beef herd. Through long hours of work, often after a tiring sports practice or late at night when I wanted to be doing just about anything else, I gained an appreciation for agriculture and the responsibility farmers have for the people they feed.
Nestled between the Nsere and Weruweru rivers and on the high mesas surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro lies Two Bridges Farm. Fields sprawl a vast 316 acres, with tall, proud coffee plants swaying in the breeze. As we walked into the main office, we were greeted by the sight of women in bright skirts carrying giant bags of coffee beans on their heads.
“Every participant will leave the program with a new and expanded appreciation of agriculture, and awareness of the incredible career opportunities to impact the world.” - John Lumkes, Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Academic mentors who take part in this purposeful program find it nearly as transformative as it is for the students. They:
Play a pivotal role in developing students’ understanding of agricultural, food security and hunger issues;
Connect students with experts in related fields at their institution;
Support students’ research and development; and
Accompany students on a trip to Land O’Lakes International Development locations in Africa.
I'm hoping I’m able to bring a diverse perspective to the Land O'Lakes team and identify possible methods to innovate the Ag industry so that it can become more efficient.