Rafael Quijada Landaverde, a Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Mary Rodriguez, is one of seven students combatting food insecurity in the US and Mexico. These Kirchner Food Fellows began meeting virtually in September and decided they would concentrate on using the $50,000 that the program enables them to invest in companies working on water: from water governance to irrigation or drinking water. They are in the process of interviewing dozens of companies in various regions of Mexico in order to make well informed decisions on how to best implement the funds of the Alabama-based Kirchner Group investment firm.
Quijada Landaverde of began his academic journey at The Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School https://www.zamorano.edu/en/ in Honduras, just south of his home country, El Salvador. He wrote his undergraduate thesis there on water quality. Zamorano students spend 15 weeks during their senior year doing an internship, usually abroad. In Quijada Landaverde’s case, this led him to a master’s program at Texas Tech University and now to OSU. No stranger to international work, He had to wrap up research early in March and return from East Africa due to COVID-19. He spoke of inputs become more expensive in the wake of the pandemic, with poorer farmers impacted the most. He encourages undergraduate and graduate students to apply at https://fundthefood.com/kirchner-food-fellows/