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“Is this an agricultural co-op or a tech company?” This was a question recently posed by “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl in a segment about Land O’Lakes, Inc.

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.