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Internship brings new ideas to the table

Logan Glassburn always planned to attend Purdue. What she never expected was that journey would take her to Africa.


Glassburn grew up on Indiana’s first wind farm, less than an hour from West Lafayette. Both her parents graduated from Purdue and now teach in Newton County. Glassburn described her childhood as “the traditional black and gold in your blood type of story.”

Following a gap year to serve as an FFA state officer, Glassburn started her agronomy degree at Purdue. She soon added a second major, agricultural education.

The summer after her freshman year, Glassburn interned with Helena Agri-Enterprises. “It was a pretty big intern class,” she recalls. “To see the ratio of Purdue students who were there was quite impressive. To hear their HR team talk about the recruitment they do at Purdue versus other universities and how they prioritize our career fair over others, was really impressive.  It’s another thing that makes you really proud to be a Purdue student."

Her 2019 summer plans have Glassburn even more excited.

Land O’Lakes, Inc. recently selected six college sophomores, including Glassburn, for the 2019 Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security™ Program.  Now in its fifth year, the program selects applicants through a competitive, nationwide search. Land O’Lakes, Inc. describes the program as, “part of the cooperative’s efforts to invest in the leaders of tomorrow to identify innovative and practical ways to solve issues facing the agriculture and food industries.”

Glassburn produced this video as part of the internship application process.

Chapman at Thanthwe Farms in Malawi, moving vegetables into a greenhouse.
Chapman at Thanthwe Farms in Malawi, moving vegetables into a greenhouse.

As an Emerging Leader for Food security, Glassburn will work on projects in South Africa, East Africa, the company’s headquarters in Minnesota and other key locations. The participants partner with mentors, aiming to find new ways to feed the world using fewer resources.

Last year, Dane Chapman was one of three Purdue Agriculture students participating in the program. Chapman, who served as a district officer with Glassburn in FFA, encouraged her to apply.

Chapman described his own experience with Land O’ Lakes as life-changing and expects it will be for Glassburn as well.

Chapman with a pedal bike used to create power for tomato processing machines at the Mwaiwathu Tomato Processors Cooperative
Chapman with a pedal bike used to create power for tomato processing machines at the Mwaiwathu Tomato Processors Cooperative

“Logan is passionate about helping others, is a bundle of energy, loves to have fun, and most impressively, is a strong leader… I am confident that Logan will represent Purdue and the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Program well.”

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