“It’s about the mission”... meet GFC intern Claire Lentsch

Monday, February 18, 2019 - 4:00pm

Claire Lentsch, a 2018-19 Global Food Challenge Emerging Leader from the University of Minnesota, is enthusiastic about exploring her passion for agriculture and discover innovative solutions to feed the world. Here, Claire answers questions about her involvement with the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge (GFC) Emerging Leader program, her U of M experience, and how she hopes to make an impact.

Q: What prompted your interest in the program and becoming an Emerging Leader? During the summer of 2018, my friend from Washington D.C. called and said she was going to be in the Twin Cities for the summer for a Global Food Challenge internship. She was incredibly passionate about her experience. Soon, she put me in contact with Sierra Williamson, a GFC intern from the U of M who was also passionate about her internship. After listening to their stories and doing some research, my mind was set. I wanted to make a difference.

Q: What do you hope to learn and achieve?  One of my closest friends gave me this piece of advice: “You are here for a reason… but it isn’t about you, it’s about how you can give back.” I think about this nearly every day. While being an Emerging Leader is an incredible opportunity, it is not about me. It is about the mission: feeding the world.

I am excited to make meaningful connections with other leaders across the industry. Together we will embrace innovation, celebrate failure, and discover solutions. I am excited to break out of my comfort zone and embrace personal and professional growth, while proceeding with a healthy disregard for the impossible. I hope to discover my role in feeding the world.

Q: What are you involved with outside of GFC Emerging Leaders?  I study agricultural and food business management in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). I currently serve as the agricultural and food business management major representative on the CFANS Undergraduate Student Board. As the secretary of Ag Business Club, I have an incredible opportunity to help connect students with professionals within the industry. I work in the Applied Economics department as the administrative and communications assistant, which allows me to promote events happening on campus. I am a columnist for The Shelby Report, a national food and retail magazine with over 76,000 subscribers, where I represent Generation Z. I participate in the mentorship program, and I am also involved in the policy engagement program.

Q: Future plans? Hunger is everywhere, so I want to do my part in exploring solutions and creating sustainable systems. I aspire to keep an open mind, and I believe that if you have your head and heart in the right place, put your head down and work hard, you will find the path that will bring you the most happiness and fulfillment. My dream is to help others recognize their full potential and have the confidence and resources needed to accomplish their goals and live their life to the fullest. The GFC Emerging Leaders program is an opportunity for me to explore the different areas of agriculture and see where I can contribute the most.

“While being an Emerging Leader is an incredible opportunity, it is not about me. It is about the mission: feeding the world. I am excited to make meaningful connections with other leaders across the industry. Together we will embrace innovation, celebrate failure, and discover solutions.”

photo courtesy of Claire Lentsch