AGEC Freshmen Advocates for Global Agriculture through Internship Experience

Written by Laura Barrett

Agricultural Economics freshman Halee Fisher (Freshman; Agricultural Economics; Millersburg, IN) has always had a passion for international agriculture. This past summer, she completed an internship with Borlaug-Ruan International in Mexico. Upon completion of this internship, Halee then served as a Global Youth Institute (GYI) group leader. She mentored and assisted nine high school students in their World Food Prize Experience and presented her internship research on socioeconomics in front of an esteemed panel. 

The World Food Prize is the highest international honor in agriculture, recognizing those who have contributed toward the advancement of human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food. The Borlaug Dialogues, now known as the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, happens once a year where the World Food Prize Laureates are honored and panel discussions take place between world leaders. This year’s symposium occurred on October 16-18 in Des Moines, Iowa. This year's theme was “Pax Agricultura: Peace through Agriculture” and welcomed representatives from 65 countries.

Throughout the entire process, Halee found that she was able to strengthen her public speaking and critical thinking skills. She also found that living in a foreign country allowed her to grow personally. “I learned a lot about myself living in a country by myself and I think the biggest strength and accomplishment of the trip was learning the valuable skill of adaptability.”  

While Halee is only a freshman, she has already accomplished many of her goals, some of which that did not come easy. “I consider my greatest accomplishment to be the honor of the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship this past summer. This internship was very prestigious and had multiple, complex steps you needed to advance through to get chosen for this internship. It all started with me writing a six-page research paper on food security and brainstorming my ideas to solve specific hunger issues in Mali. I then presented my speech at Purdue’s World Food Prize State Institute and got selected among one hundred students to attend the Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa.”  

When she’s not advocating for agriculture internationally, Halee is involved on campus through her sorority Pi Beta Phi, Delight Ministries, Campus House, and undergraduate research in a water sustainability project for Tanzania as part of the DURI program. She also holds minors in Psychology and Global Food and Agriculture Systems. 

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