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Land O'Lakes, Inc. Selects 10 College Sophomore Students for Global Food Challenge Initiative

The initiative's fourth-year class commits to finding innovative and sustainable solutions to agricultural challenges

Land O'Lakes, Inc. Selects 10 College Sophomore Students for Global Food Challenge Initiative


ARDEN HILLS, MINN. (12/6/2017) – Land O’Lakes, Inc. is proud to announce its 2017-2018 Emerging Leaders as part of the cooperative’s efforts to invest in the leaders of tomorrow to identify innovative and practical ways to solve global challenges facing the agriculture and food industry.

The 10 leaders, college sophomores from seven partner universities, were selected from a competitive field of candidates for this fourth class of the Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security™ Program. Paired with university professors and mentors from Land O’Lakes, Inc., participants will develop consulting projects that work across business units to advance Land O’Lakes’ mission to feed human progress.

The emerging leaders come from both rural and urban backgrounds and are pursuing degrees in fields from dietetics to supply chain to international affairs.

The 2017-2018 Emerging Leaders for Food Security are:

  • Izaiah Bokunewicz (Norristown, Pennsylvania) attending Pennsylvania State University

  • Dane Chapman (Brookston, Indiana) attending Purdue University

  • Kinnidy Coley (Raleigh, North Carolina) attending North Carolina A&T State University

  • Bailee Cook (Walkerton, Indiana) attending Purdue University

  • Alyssa Dougherty (Epworth, Iowa) attending Iowa State University

  • Julia Loudenburg (Salem, South Dakota) attending George Washington University

  • Katriel Marks (Carmel, Indiana) attending Purdue University

  • Jansen Penny (Burlington, Colorado) attending Kansas State University

  • Sierra Williamson (Sherburn, Minnesota) attending the University of Minnesota

  • Sarah Vater (Osceola, Wisconsin) attending the University of Minnesota

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 and has had 31 students immersed in the program.

The Emerging Leaders will have a summer internship spent at key Land O'Lakes, Inc. locations, including headquarters in Minnesota, and at a Land O’Lakes, Inc. dairy member farm and member agriculture cooperatives. They will discuss issues such as sustainability, ensuring broader access to new markets in agriculture, and empowering change in communities here and abroad.

Leaders will also visit policymakers and agricultural experts in Washington, D.C., as well as with smallholder farmers in Africa with the affiliated nonprofit Land O’Lakes International Development.

"Agriculture is a dynamic, high-tech and important industry to be in. We need to engage ambitious young people of all disciplines and skillsets, because they will be instrumental in helping to feed a growing population and in educating their peers, policy makers and constituents about what it truly means to work in food and ag," said Lydia Botham, vice president, Community Relations and the Land O’Lakes Foundation.

Learn more about the Global Food Challenge and join the conversation here.

Media Contact:Brooke Dillon 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 2016 annual sales of $13.2 billion, Land O'Lakes is one of the nation's largest cooperatives, ranking 209 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 96 years of operation, Land O'Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including LAND O LAKES® Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField® United. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O'Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn.

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