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Meet the Land O'Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security® for 2022

The program’s eighth-year class will participate in professional development activities -- from focusing on agriculture business case studies to visiting cooperatives in the U.S. and abroad, if travel is an option 

Meet the Land O'Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security® for 2022


ARDEN HILLS, MINN. (Dec. 13, 2021) – Land O’Lakes, Inc. is proud to announce its 2022 Emerging Leaders as part of the Fortune 200 cooperative’s efforts to invest in the leaders of tomorrow to identify innovative and practical ways to help revolutionize the agriculture industry. 

The six leaders, college sophomores from five partner universities, were selected from a competitive field of candidates for the eighth class of the Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security® Program. They will be paired with mentors from Land O’Lakes, Inc. to solve issues across intersections of agriculture, food and technology. The Emerging Leaders come from both rural and urban backgrounds and are pursuing degrees in fields like animal science, agriculture education and biological engineering. 

Land O’Lakes, Inc., a farmer-owned cooperative, created the Global Food Challenge program in 2014 to engage future leaders in the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture in the future. The program has immersed 53 students in the company’s farm-to-fork operations.  

"The Global Food Challenge is about connecting the brightest young minds to the agriculture industry. We need the next generation to continue bridging the urban and rural divide," says Morgan Kinross-Wright, VP Community Relations & executive director of the Land O’Lakes Foundation. "We’re involving these ambitious students in one-of-a-kind opportunities that will serve them for the rest of their professional careers.” 

Over the course of the summer of 2022, the six Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders will be engaged with Land O’Lakes mentors to consult on projects with one of four business units: Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField United, Dairy Foods and Truterra. And if travel is an option, students will also travel to key locations including member cooperative and farm locations and, if possible, students may also travel to cooperatives abroad. Past intern classes have visited international business Villa Crop Protection in South Africa and Land O’Lakes Venture37 projects in East Africa. 

For the program’s eighth year, the 2022 Emerging Leaders for Food Security are:  

Dev Patel  
Purdue University 
Biological Engineering with BioEnvironmental concentration 

Elizabeth "Libby" Putnam
University of Florida- Gainesville
Agricultural Education & Communication and Family, Youth, & Community Sciences, with minors in Leadership, International Humanitarian Assistance and Development 

Kamelah Ribeiro
Virginia State University
Agribusiness and Economics 

Leah Marek
Iowa State University
Global Resource Systems and Biology 

Michael Heraty
Purdue University
Biological Engineering, with minor in Biotechnology 

Paige Peiffer
Penn State
Animal Science 

Learn more about the Global Food Challenge and join the conversation at



Media Contact:Brooke Dillon, Land O'Lakes, Inc., 651-202-1670

About Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Land O'Lakes, Inc., one of America's premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2020 annual sales of $14 billion, Land O'Lakes is one of the nation's largest cooperatives, ranking 219 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of 100 years of operation, Land O'Lakes today nurtures some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including Land O Lakes butter, Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Truterra. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O'Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minnesota.

4001 Lexington Avenue North Arden Hills, MN 55126 | Mailing: P.O. Box 64101 St. Paul, MN 55164-0101 | 651.375.2222