If I’m honest, the bustling metropolis of Washington D.C. is not a place I once equated with effectively telling the story of sustainable agriculture. When I left the crowded airport to ride a crowded metro to find our hotel on a crowded city street, I thought to myself, “What does this have to do with agriculture?” No farms. No dirt. Definitely no cows.
Think back to your grade school days: when someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, was it easy to reply with an answer? Maybe you were considering a career as a firefighter, doctor, nurse, teacher or an astronaut. As you grew up, did those dreams change?
I grew up on a farm in Minnesota and now attend Iowa State University majoring in agricultural engineering, so it’s probably not surprising that a question that often crosses my mind is how do we feed the world? It’s a question that we in the agriculture industry often ask, and the more people working to answer it, the closer we’ll be to finding a solution.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up as the oldest of four kids in a very rural area just south of La Crosse, Wisconsin–an area that’s home to a good portion of the dairy industry in Wisconsin. I wanted to step outside my small town, so I decided to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where I currently study Mechanical Engineering.
Since joining the Land O’Lakes, Inc. team in 2014, I’ve been blown away by the people I’ve met, and the students that I’ve led through the Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security fellowship program. You see, my job is to manage the program. From helping to recruit the students in the fall, to what I consider their “graduation” at the end of the summer, I’ve gotten to watch 20 college sophomores transform into 20 agriculture advocates. Year after year, I’m left inspired by these future leaders as they find their passions along the way.
As we are about to wrap up this amazing internship, we would like to touch on our project experience and how it has evolved over the summer. Although it has shifted quite a bit, we are very proud of the final product and hope that Land O'Lakes will utilize it in the future.
Toward the end of the school year, each team was given a list of possible project ideas. The initial topic that our team chose for our summer project was concerning how the drought in California would affect agriculture.
As Congress headed into a period of recess, the Global Food Challenge team experienced a special time on The Hill.
Many believe the solution to global food insecurity is to produce more food to feed millions; but what if we already produce enough food? The question then becomes: How can we innovate new ways to conserve the food we already produce?
Food security has long been framed by the following question: How do we grow enough food to feed a population of 9 billion by 2050?