An Inherited Agricultural Background
Hello, everyone! My name is Alice Mukunzi, and this summer, I will be interning as a Loan Officer in the Brown Summit Office with Lance Wardlaw as my supervisor and Wanda Harris as my mentor. I am studying Agribusiness and Food Industry Management at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. I am involved in student organizations such as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) and Young Farmers and Ranchers (CFB) at North Carolina A&T. During my free time, I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, long walks, browsing the internet, reading, and watching international shows and movies.
My involvement with agriculture is quite limited because I did not grow up on a farm or near livestock. My passion for agriculture stems from knowing that over 80% of Burundians are employed within the agricultural sector. Burundi is a landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Tanzania to the east, and Rwanda to the north. It is about the size of Maryland. My dream is to return to my home country and assist the farmers who help feed people and the economy to succeed as farmers and business owners. With limited resources and scarce government assistance, Burundian farmers make little to nothing and cannot support their own families.
Throughout high school, I was unsure about what I wanted to be, but, in any case, I desired to assist local farmers and small business owners. That still stays true to this day due to the changing nature of the job market and the unforeseen circumstances. If anything, I would love to bridge the gap between academic research, farmers, and small business owners. Each year millions of dollars are poured into educational institutions to investigate soil erosion, policies, food deserts, food insecurity, and child hunger. Research and developments could play a vital role in a farm's growth or help increase revenue for small business owners. The interested third party can use the research conducted as a case study and, therefore, collaborate with researchers to improve the hypothesis, means of collecting data, and results holistically. The crossover between academia and farming rarely happens unless it is tied to the research or incentives rewarded for participating in educational programs. In the future, I would love the opportunity to conduct agriculture-related research and disseminate scholarly research to interested parties.