Globie Kody Olson interns at USDA

June 13

Globe student Dakota Olson is spending this summer interning at the US Department of Agriculture in the office of Assistant Secretary of Administration, Dr. Gregory Parham. Dr. Parham oversees a variety of function within Departmental Management, Dakota Olson 1the USDA’s central administrative management organization.  Kody frequently attends meetings with Dr. Parham and his Deputy Secretaries and assists the team by taking notes.  He also provides administrative support in the office by answering phone calls and making copies as well as composing emails or proof-reading correspondence and reports that might go to Congressional leadership, Secretary Tom Vilsack, or even the President!

Kody also works with another USDA initiative called Feds Feed Families. This is a federally sponsored food drive, begun in 2009, to help local families that do not have access to USDA’s school breakfast and lunch programs during the summer months.  Feds Feed Family aims to have every federal employee participate in the food drive during this time of traditionally low donations.   Last year, the program donated 14.8 million pounds of food!

As part of his duties, Kody coordinates with all the different government agencies and offices (DOD, Dept. of Justice, USAID, White House, etc.) to encourage participation and to assist in training agency leaders for this project. He also works with Feds Feed Families partners such as Mid-Atlantic Gleaning Network (MAGNET) to coordinate gleaning opportunities for federal employees as part of the effort to maximize support for families in need.

Working with emergency feeding systems is a topic that is near and dear to Kody. For the past year, he have been working for a non-profit start-up called the MEANS (Matching Excess And Needs for Stability) Database. This start-up developed an online tool that is strengthening the network of emergency feeding systems, as well as encouraging donors, to redistribute excess food to where it is needed most.  See for details. With Kody’s background in emergency feeding systems, Feds Feed Families was the perfect fit for his internship.

Of all the interesting things he has done this summer, Kody reports that spending the FDakota Olson 2ourth of July in Washington, DC with friends has been his most memorable moment so far, saying “It was truly amazing to celebrate Independence Day in our nation’s capital and watch fireworks launched from the Lincoln Memorial.”

Kody is participating in the USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship, an opportunity made available through the World Food Prize Foundation.  Information about this fellowship can be found at:   Kody has enjoyed this experience and says, “Internships are instrumental to paving career opportunities and preparing you for your post-college live. Internships provide not only learned skills and experience, but also networking opportunities and career advice that no college classroom could teach you.”