BY BRIDGET AYMAR
Mandi Egeland, ’17 BSB, has spent the past year imagining solutions to a dire problem: how to increase global food production to sustain nine billion people by the year 2050. She was one of 10 students who examined food security issues on a local, national, and global level as part of the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security fellowship.
Throughout the 2014-15 academic year, Egeland became acquainted with approaches to agriculture around the world. In the neighboring African nations of Malawi and Zambia, she observed how small-plot farmers have adopted innovative practices to raise their crops. In Washington, D.C., she discovered how legislators and policy makers are making progress on solutions that will feed a growing population. And when she visited Kansas, Egeland gained a better understanding of the challenges U.S. farmers faced.
“I saw a lot of different farms and production facilities, but what I took away from the experience is that some of them are large and some are small—but big or small, every farm makes an impact,” she says.
As she enters her junior year, Egeland looks forward to becoming a mentor for the next cohort of Emerging Leaders Fellows. This fall, she will help recruit students to continue working on this crucial global problem.
“I can’t say enough good things about this program and the opportunities that have been presented to me,” she says. “One solution isn’t going to feed the world. It’s going to take all of us, and I see now that we are the generation to take this on.”