Three University of Minnesota students have been selected for the new Land O’Lakes, Inc. Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security fellowship, a unique yearlong internship and development program for 10 students at five universities. The fellowship is part of an effort by Land O’Lakes, Inc. to address the task of feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050.

The fellowship will support the emerging leaders of tomorrow as they work to identify innovative and practical ways to meet the world’s need for a 70 percent increase in global food production. These students, sophomores at the University of Minnesota, Purdue University, Iowa State University, Northwestern University, and George Washington University, will be matched with university professors who will help guide the research they conduct.

Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, the students will participate in a series of “challenges,” assignments designed to spur their thinking about food security issues. The first assignment will be announced in November 2014.

The experience will culminate with an 11-week paid summer internship, which will begin in May 2015 and includes travel to Africa, Washington, D.C., and key Land O’Lakes locations. The students will present their final projects to industry experts and leaders at The Global Food Challenge Summit, hosted in Fall 2015 at Land O’Lakes headquarters in Arden Hills, Minnesota.

University of Minnesota participants in the Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security fellowship include:

  • Mandi Egeland, a University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management student from Grand Forks, North Dakota, majoring in MIS and entrepreneurial management 
  • Ariel Garsow, a University of Minnesota College of Food Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences student from Beloit, Wisconsin, majoring in food science
  • Jonathon Sabel, a University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering student from Eagan, Minnesota, majoring in chemical engineering

“Today we are expanding our investment in the leaders of tomorrow and giving them the tools and experience to start addressing one of society’s most significant issues: ensuring food security,” said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “There is no better way to help drive global security than to ensure food security. We are pleased to partner with these universities and hope to inspire these students to engage in the challenge of feeding a growing global population.”

The fellowship will provide these students with the opportunity to engage with other future leaders and advocates for food and agriculture as they help educate others about the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture in the coming decades.Students were selected through a competitive application process from a broad range of programs that deliver the mix of skills and experience necessary to bring news ideas to feeding the hungry around the world.

Learn more about the Global Food Challenge at foodchallenge.landolakesinc.com.