Global Food Challenge

In 2015, Land O’Lakes Inc. launched the Global Food Challenge.  This program selects ten sophomores from six universities (including GW) to participate in a unique summer paid internship program that challenges these “Emerging Leaders” to learn more about food, hunger, agriculture and sustainability at key Land O’Lakes locations including headquarters in Minnesota, Washington, D.C. and Land O’Lakes International Development projects in Africa. As Lisa Benton-Short, Sustainability Senior Faculty Fellow, describes, "I’ve watched as each of GW’s Emerging Leaders have left this program with a new and expanded appreciation of agriculture, and awareness of the incredible career opportunities to impact the world around food security. It is one of the most transformational summer internship programs I’ve seen students experience.”

 

GW Emerging Leader Alexander Fried and Dr. Mohamed Yakub of University Minnesota spot a baby elephant while in the Serengeti, Tanzania

GW Emerging Leader Alexander Fried and Dr. Mohamed Yakub of University Minnesota spot a baby elephant while in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

“The Global Food Challenge focuses on food and hunger problems on a local, national, and international scale. As part of my summer internship, I've gotten to visit a 10,000 acre farm in Iowa and a one acre farm in Tanzania. From a sustainability perspective, it's been really eye opening to be exposed to the myriad of challenges we're faced with when looking at a growing population and a shrinking amount of arable land. 

On our trip to Africa, I've discovered a newfound respect for the small-holder farmer. They're faced with disease, a changing climate, nonexistent infrastructure, no government assistance; yet they still have to farm because there is no viable alternative. One small Maasai village we visited depended on a few cows that came from the Heifer International program. I was fascinated by how they used manure as fuel and fertilizer for their crops. In general, they attempted to find some use of everything they had. It was a great experience that added to my perspective on agriculture, international aid programs, and sustainability.”

-Alexander Fried, Emerging Leader 2016-2017

 

Learn more about the Global Food Challenge