In her high school advanced placement (AP) biology class, Tara Mittelberg learned about Norman Borlaug, the renowned scientist, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize winner who devoted his career to battling hunger and poverty across the globe. This sparked her interest in agriculture and prompted her to pursue the opportunity to be an Emerging Leader in the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge during the 2014–2015 academic year.
As I sit down to write this farewell blog, I feel overwhelmed with emotion because of the amazing experiences the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge has given us 10 Emerging Leaders. However, this blog isn’t meant to dwell on our farewell, but rather to highlight the learning experiences we encountered.
“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.