In many cases, internships help students gain career experience that serves them for the whole of their professional careers. At Meds & Food for Kids (MFK), I have been recruited since April for a professional work and research program in agriculture. Being an agronomist, I have offered my skills to help accomplish the mission of MFK in making the gold standard of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). MFK makes products in Haiti, using Haitian workers and, whenever possible, Haitian raw materials. Since being founded in 2003, MFK’s RUTF, Medika Mamba (Haitian Creole for “peanut butter medicine”) has already saved the lives of over 530,000 children.
In the agriculture department, we work with many kinds of farmers and peanut producers. This helps us grow our network and meet peanut providers, gets us in touch with people from rural areas, expands research, and increases knowledge of agricultural practices through farmer education. We plan agriculture activities, practice planting common seeds, and are introduced to other peanut seeds popularized by the local government. We are responsible for buying and testing peanuts before use in the factory, supervising peanuts that are sampled, sorting, and checking humidity control before tested aflatoxin content. We also assist with planting for farmers and peanut producers in rural areas, helping the providers get more peanuts to the local market.
As an intern, I was limited in my own responsibilities, but there was always something to assist with as my direct supervisor is always very busy on site. In my months at MFK, I have learned a lot of things that will serve me in my career in the future, such as spending time in the laboratory learning about quality tests, environment test control, and water quality. It was a very great experience. I have really appreciated the support of my supervisor; he took the time to introduce me to many kinds of experimental sectors in the industry. I really want to take the time to say thank you to the MFK staff for this beautiful experience and I hope for a partnership in the future.