Blog Update
When I received an offer to intern with Land O’Lakes, Inc., I had to stop and do a double take. For a guy who has grown up in the beef world, the idea of a “dairy thing” was a little out of my comfort zone to say the least. I accepted the offer because the program sounded great, but I was unsure of what all of my beef friends would think of me when I accepted a position to intern with “the butter people.” Growing up I had become accustomed to making jokes about dairy cows compared to beef cattle, and in my part of the world the dairy people were the “weird” ones.
Blog Update
When I share with people that I interned with Land O’Lakes this summer, their first comment is always “Oh yeah, the butter company!” While we are “the butter company,” that butter company is one that is a farmer-owned cooperative, which is something I have always found unique.

Emerging Leaders to Get a Fresh Perspective on Agriculture

Posted by Land O'Lakes, Wed, June 12

Wheels up for Africa! The 2019 class of students chosen to participate in the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security™ Program depart Friday, June 14, to learn more about agricultural practices in Tanzania and South Africa. The prime focus of the trip is to learn more about the challenge of global hunger and to share the program’s mission of ending food insecurity.


The six students, all college sophomores, are pursuing degrees in fields ranging from food science to supply chain management to biological and agricultural engineering. They’ll also experience the languages, cuisines and cultural practices of each country. Here’s a brief synopsis of what they’ll be doing:


In Tanzania, the Emerging Leaders will visit a smallholder farmer to get a taste of how smaller-scale individual farms work in the country. As a contrast, they’ll visit the Kefoi Commercial Farm to discover how large Tanzanian farms are operated. Students will also tour the Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union coffee farm, visit the Ng'iresi Cultural Centre and attend a presentation by a member of the affiliated nonprofit Land O’Lakes International Development Tanzania team to find out about the NGO’s footprint in the country.


South Africa
In South Africa, the Emerging Leaders will visit Villa Crop Protection, a Land O’Lakes, Inc. venture in South Africa. Here, students will receive an overview of Villa, visit the company’s training facility and learn about the unique South African agricultural industry. They will also visit an apple farming operation and have an in-field visit with a small-grain farmer. A visit to an apple- and pear-packing facility is also on the agenda. 


Students will participate in a volunteer project with FoodForward South Africa, a nonprofit organization that uses edible surplus food from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to produce millions of meals annually. They’ll wrap up their time in South Africa with a tour of the city of Cape Town and a visit to Table Mountain — a flat-topped mountain that forms a prominent landmark that overlooks the city and is famous for its aerial cableways.


Be sure to track the travels of the Emerging Leaders on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


© 2019 Land O’Lakes, Inc.