By: Christa Meland
Project AgGrad has selected the next student it will help to pursue an advanced degree at the University of Minnesota.
Emmanuel Adeyemo from Nigeria will arrive in Minnesota in August and begin working on a master’s degree in plant breeding and molecular genetics.
Adeyemo is the eighth student that Project AgGrad has supported since its inception.
The program, now in its 30th year, addresses the root causes of hunger in developing countries. It selects promising students from those countries and supports them as they pursue an advanced degree in agriculture production; upon completion of their degree, the students return home to share what they’ve learned and help their nation’s farmers to feed more people in a sustainable way.
“I am pursuing a graduate education…in order to acquire the necessary knowledge and research skills to help boost wheat production while also empowering small farm holders and resource-limited farmers in my country,” Adeyemo said in his application. “My vision for Nigeria is that of a country that is self-sufficient in food production, a country that will no more import what she can produce locally—and by God’s grace, I hope to play a major role in helping my country achieve this objective.”
One of Adeyemo’s undergraduate professors and mentors was Debo Olaoye, the first student that Project AgGrad supported.
“This is a testament to the enduring nature and success of the AgGrad mission, which is supported by ongoing contributions from United Methodist churches all over Minnesota,” said Project AgGrad Chair Eric Forsberg.
The program’s six graduates have collectively taught more than 500 graduate students, more than 5,000 undergraduate students, and 25 Ph.D. or master of science students. They have directly influenced more than 2,000 farmers in their home countries. Additionally, they have led or participated in 32 outreach projects, including the development of farm plans, business plans, and land use plans; water quality and sanitation assessments; and farmer training and development.
A seventh Project AgGrad student, Sama Ao from India, is finishing a doctoral degree at the University of Minnesota.
Project AgGrad is looking for a host church and family to assist Adeyemo as he becomes acquainted with the United States and Minnesota.
Many congregations in the conference support Project AgGrad through financial contributions. The cost of the fellowship for students supported through the program is approximately $35,000 per year—so contributions are always needed.
Learn more about Project AgGrad by visiting the website. Or, for information about the program, contact Eric Forsberg. Contributions to the program can be sent to the Minnesota Conference office (122 W. Franklin Ave, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55404) with “Project Ag-Grad 7005” written in the memo line.
Christa Meland is director of communications for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church