Oswin is a sophomore from South Bend, Indiana. She is in the Krannert School of Management majoring in management and marketing with a concentration in International Business and a minor in Spanish. Her innovative idea to solve the world’s need for increased global food production is “vertical farming.” Oswin said, “I believe that vertical farming is a practical solution to create food sustainability by 2050. The reason there are no vertical farms now is because of capital costs, energy costs, and upkeep.

I am currently trying to find methods that can eliminate the barriers to vertical farming.” Oswin’s yearlong internship enables her to explore her vertical farming idea. Purdue Professor John Lumkes is Oswin’s campus representative to guide her as she conducts her research. Oswin believes she was selected for the Land O’Lakes internship because of her confidence in her objective.

As part of her application, she wrote an essay and created a video that conveyed her passion and enthusiasm in solving the global issue of food scarcity. “More and more people are realizing that our current farming methods aren’t enough to create food sustainability in the future,” Oswin said. “I believe it’s so vital to invest in new innovative ideas for farming because the traditional methods aren’t efficient enough.” Chris Policinsk, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc. explained the premise of the fellowship in a statement, “Today we are expanding our investment in the leaders of tomorrow and giving them the tools and experience to start addressing one of society’s most significant issues: ensuring food security.”

Oswin’s knowledge garnered through the Entrepreneurship Program will assist her during her quest to address Land O’Lakes mission to feed billions. “The skills I am learning for my certificate in entrepreneurship coincide with my project because I am trying to create a high value proposition and convince individuals that this idea is worth investing in.”

Through the academic year, Oswin will participate in a series of “challenges,” assignments designed to spur thinking about food security issues. Her experience will culminate in an 11-week summer internship and include travel to Africa and Land O’Lakes, Inc. locations within the United States. The essence of entrepreneurship education—learning to develop a concept into the concrete—will play out in the real world for Oswin. “This internship allows students with a seed-like idea, grow and develop in a year with the help from peers and college representatives and Land O’ Lakes, Inc. employees,” she said. “I am very excited about learning if my idea can become a reality. With all the information and experiences I have, I will conclude my internship with a 25-page research paper about my entire journey.”

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