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Peri Warren’s grandfather and great-grandfather were farmers. But as she got older, the distance between her and agriculture grew. However, she got another taste of ag during her time as a 2017 Emerging Leader with the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge. This internship included spending time on a smallholder coffee farm in Tanzania; visiting blueberry, hazelnut and hop operations in Oregon; and having a discussion with a USDA official in Washington, D.C., about food deserts and food injustice.
Blog Update
Everyone knows that agriculture doesn’t look the way it did 100 years go. But, even in the past 10 years, technology has changed the way food is grown —if not at the speed of light, then at a speed nobody quite anticipated.

Newest Crop of Emerging Leaders Prepped and Ready to Go

Posted by Land O'Lakes, Tue, May 22

The 2018–19 class of Emerging Leaders for the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge program has arrived in the Twin Cities to begin its 12-week summer internship experience. The 10-member group will convene at Land O’Lakes corporate headquarters in Arden Hills on May 21.


Emerging Leaders were chosen in November 2017, and the group has been meeting since January to prepare for the internship leg of their program. The students, who have just completed their sophomore year of college, have spent a busy five months working remotely on upcoming team projects, reading relevant literature, and meeting either in-person or virtually with their Land O’Lakes and college mentors to get up to speed on events, news and innovations occurring in the agriculture arena.


Here are brief profiles on a few of the newest Emerging Leaders.


Dane Chapman attends Purdue University, where he is studying agribusiness, international agriculture and supply chain management. As an Emerging Leader, Chapman and several other team members will work with project leads from Winfield United — the crop inputs and insights business of Land O’Lakes — to determine the effectiveness of the business unit’s customer communications. “My favorite part of the project has been learning more about the Winfield United team and the value it brings to customers,” says Chapman. “It’s exciting to see how the team offers innovative technologies to farmers to help them be more productive and more sustainable.”


Alyssa Dougherty attends Iowa State University, where she is majoring in dietetics. During her Global Food Challenge internship, Dougherty and her teammates will be helping prioritize potential university food and dining partners in a sustainability initiative for Land O’Lakes’ new SUSTAIN™ business unit. SUSTAIN is seeking to expand its engagement in the food industry and create a robust strategy with the college and university sector. “It’s been great to learn about topics such as renewable energy sources, land conservation, greenhouse gas emissions and the role of the private sector in leading sustainability initiatives,” she says. “Discovering more about SUSTAIN has been eye-opening.”


Katriel Marks is also a student at Purdue, pursuing a double-major in plant genetics and agricultural economics. Marks and her teammates will be working with WinField United’s recently launched R7® Field Forecasting Tool, which is a technology solution that uses various elements, including weather and plant tissue samples, to track plant nutrition demand and availability and help farmers identify the best timing and application rate to address stress and close the yield gap. Katriel is looking forward to the group’s two-week trip to Malawi and South Africa to visit development projects of the independent nonprofit Land O’Lakes International Development. “What’s fascinating to me is how U.S. governmental agencies work with the nonprofit Land O’Lakes International Development to undertake projects in underdeveloped countries to empower communities through agriculture,” says Katriel. “I’m looking forward to seeing how nonprofits can work with local governments to achieve poverty reduction and economic development.”


Jansen Penny, a student at Kansas State University majoring in industrial engineering, will be also be working on the Field Forecasting Tool project. He’s been meeting with ag technology managers to find out more about the tool and about ag technology in general. “It’s been great to talk with the other members of my team to find out more about each other and how we can best collaborate over the summer,” he says. “I’m also looking forward to going to Washington, D.C., to look at the policy side of agriculture and discover what role we can play as student leaders and how we can advocate for agriculture, both now and for the future.”


Get to know all of the Emerging Leaders and see what they’re up to next on The Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


R7® and WinField® are trademarks of Winfield United.

SUSTAIN™ is a trademark of Land O’Lakes, Inc.


© 2018 Land O’Lakes, Inc.