West Senior completes internship in Ethiopia

Bradley Phelps

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West Jessamine senior Sarah Warren had a two month internship in Ethiopia this summer. This amazing opportunity was givento her by the World Food Prize. She was only one of 22 students in the nation to be given this opportunity.

Warren started her journey to Ethiopia in October 2012, when she attended the three day Global Youth Institute conference in Des Moines, Iowa. There, she presented her ideas concerning farming and raising livestock in third world countries, which earned her the opportunity to actually see her ideas in action.

The trip to Ethiopia was somewhat problematic though.

On June 14, Warren left from Kentucky, but without her favorite multi-tool, which was taken from her at the airport. At her stop in Germany, airport officials continued to take her stuff, this time confiscating her choice lotion. Initial hardships aside, she reached Ethiopia without much additional difficulty.

Once there, her main jobs were to interview farmers, take note of their farming methods, and collect milk samples from livestock.

Her research being funded by the International Livestock Research Institute, the milk samples were taken to a lab to be tested, where Warren was able to determine that the milk Ethiopian farmers are producing is nowhere close to meeting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. However, the locals didn’t seem to be experiencing any negative effects from the “unsafe” milk, leading Warren to the conclusion that humans can easily adapt to widely varying lifestyles and diets.

However, that doesn’t mean that worldwide food quality shouldn’t be improved, according to Warren, who is also working as part of the Safe Food, Fair Food Project, a worldwide organization devoted to providing an adequate, healthy food supply to everyone, with a focus on livestock care.

Next month, Warren will return to the Global Youth Institute conference to present her findings, as well as to be a mentor/chaperone for younger participants who are going through the same process that she did last year. Fabian Leon, a current junior at West, will be one of them.

So what does Warren have planned for the future? Before her internship, she didn’t have any intention of staying in Kentucky after graduation, but something changed during her Ethiopian trip.

“My feet are firmly planted in Kentucky,” Warren said.

She intends to become a livestock veterinarian, possibly here in Jessamine County, and to continue fighting world hunger through her involvement in various organizations.

“I’m just trying to live to serve,” she concluded.

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