Students 2017-2019

Nelson Avila (Colombia)

Nelson Avila

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Hola! I’m Nel, from Colombia. Two years ago I stumbled upon permaculture and my life transformed radically; I left my unfulfilling career in international trading, to pursue my vision of becoming an organic farmer. It has been a self-discovery journey, getting back in touch with nature its elements and most important myself. Developing empathy, consciousness and actions towards the social issues, we need to address to develop as a civilized global society. Upon competition of my studies my goal is to get back home and develop a permaculture center, to encourage the new generations of small farmers in Colombia to maintain their traditional farming methods.

More than a professional career, I have found a life project; my vocation in life. 

Noélie Borghino (France)

Noélie Borghino

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Hi I'm Noélie. I come from South of France where I did a bachelor degree on ecological sciences and biodiversity.  I have been in contact with people involved in Agroecology and Permaculture development for a long time and I always wanted to follow their steps. I saw the scientist aspect of agroecology during an internship in a french institute for agricultural research and the practical aspect doing some summer jobs in farms. I enjoyed both, it brought me a lot and has strenghtened my motivation.

I hope that I will use the knowledge that my time spent in NMBU will provide me to help to developp community sustainable agricultural farming systems, since I find the social aspect as important as the scientist one.

Julien Cantegreil (France)

Julien Cantegreil

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Hi ! I’m Julien from Toulouse (France). I’m 21 and I currently a student of a French school of Life Sciences and Agriculture. I’m interested in agricultural issues for several years, I made many work placements in different farms in France and New Zealand, and I’m convinced that agriculture is at a turning point today. We have to build a model of agriculture which can produce in sustainable ways and, to my mind, a pragmatic approach of Agroecology represents the best way to address this complex challenge. Hope the MSc Agroecology at NMBU will help us.

I’m looking forward to taking this program and to meeting you all in August.

Kenneth Darko Anokye (Ghana)

Kenneth Darko Anokye

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Kenneth Darko Anokye is my name coming from Ghana (Kumasi) in West Africa .My choice of Agricultural Science as my undergraduate course stemmed from my interest in soil and crops science since infancy and my desire to be an Agricultural Scientist. In my years in junior high school, I excelled in general agriculture. Because of this, my mates were calling me “Agriculture master” at my high school. I didn’t get opportunity to do Agriculture science in the senior high school but General science and its didn’t killed my dreams my love and visions, l got the opportunity to do it in the university, taking into consideration my leadership qualities, communication skills and performance. This achievement is obvious of my pursuit in Agricultural Science and my exploits has also made me an advisor to farmers in my community. My experience, both in theoretical and practical knowledge having lived in a farming community boosted my knowledge after being exposed to the full range of Agricultural courses. The field practical session was my favorite period, where I put into practice what I learnt in class, all of which reinforced and solidified my interest in Agriculture. Working with the CSIR-Crop Research Institute under the Division of Root and Tuber on commodities like Sweet potato where l was assigned to work for a year this have let me know benefits of  agriculture. In Ghana, most of the farmers depend on inorganic fertilizers and weedicides or herbicides which have ended destroying of the ecosystems. Some years back although I was very young but I saw that, it was very common to see snails and mushrooms during the raining seasons. But when the farmers started introduce inorganic fertilizers and agro-chemicals it have killed all this organisms in the soil that were producing it and the questions what solution can eradicate  kind of practices in Ghana  and some part of Africa as well and this is  because much attention haven’t put on the ecology.

Ingvild Haugen (Norway)

Ingvild Haugen

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Hi, I'm Ingvild! I grew up on a farm in South-Western Norway, with my parents and four younger siblings. My family farm produces dairy and various meats, and hosts school children and elderly people on a weekly basis. I’ve studied in Rome and Australia, but spent the past year at NMBU. Except a semester of cultural history, my studies have revolved around biology, nutrition, social and environmental aspects of food. For years, I ‘ve also engaged with organisations such as the Red Cross, the Stroemme Foundation and Spire, and worked part-time with health foods, primary education and elderly care. Passionate about people, the environment and food in all its aspects, Agroecology is a natural choice for me. Using the approach of an agroecologist I hope to promote socially and environmentally sustainable food security and nutrition, in Norway and abroad.

Matthew Kessler (USA)

Matthew Kessler

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Matthew Kessler grew up in New York, USA very disconnected from natural cycles and the local food system.  When he was 19, Matthew began to travel and work on farms in Wisconsin, Hawai’i, Nepal, and Israel.  He grew passionate about ecological agriculture, food justice and the interdependent nature of farming and food systems and returned to academia to study Sustainable Agriculture and Ecological Forestry in North Carolina, USA.  He hopes his time at NMBU and his thesis  will addresscreating competitive alternatives to the current high-input, resource-extractive agricultural model through generating viable production farming systems based on biomimicry of ecological forest succession.

Amy Lam (Canada)

Amy Lam

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Hei! I’m Amy from Canada. For the last five years, I lived in Yellowknife, the subarctic part of Canada. When I first moved there I was shocked to find tropical fruits in grocery stores and the same products as you would in southern Canada. Industrial agriculture and a globalized food system are changing how, and what we eat. Biodiversity is reducing and we are losing the ability – and desire – to eat food specific to our region, despite consumers' vow to eat local. Living, travelling and eating in the arctic made me aware of how vulnerable our food system is. During my time there I got involved in local food initiatives: joining the board of the farmers’ market, doing backyard landshare gardening, selling produce at the farmers’ market and taking farm training courses at the Northern Farm Training Institute. Professionally, I have a background first in marketing and communications, and then in policy, planning and program evaluation. I believe we are at a critical juncture in agriculture and the agroecology program at NMBU will support the next generation of agroecologists in contributing to actionable, positive and resilient changes to our agriculture and food systems.

Vebjørn Stafseng (Norway)

Vebjorn Stafseng

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Hi! My name is Vebjørn, and I come from Gjøvik in Norway. I have my BA in Culture and Communication from the University of Oslo, but have for the past two years spent six months working on organic farms in France (through the WWOOF network) and another six months working in a small scale organic sourdough bakery at a farm in Oslo. I have a great interest in food and food production, and next to my studies I sit in the Food Committee of the youth organisation Spire, where we work for a sustainable and more just world. I’m looking forward to this program, and hope to learn as much as possible about how to make global food production more sustainable. 

Emilie Vansant (USA)

Emilie Vansant

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Hi! My name is Emilie, and I grew up in Vermont (in the Northeast U.S.) When I was young, I spent my summers working on an organic vegetable farm. Years later, serving as a waitress, I observed how restaurant patrons rarely spare thought to consider the origin of the contents of their plate. Through working with food from farm to fork, I had the chance to observe this growing sense of abstraction within the global food production paradigm -  this phenomenon inspired me to further study the relationships between agriculture, the environment and the industrial food system. I earned a Bachelor's in International Relations and Environmental Studies in Boston, and then worked for a small agriculture non-profit in Guatemala for 6 months. Through my studies, I have also had the opportunity to intern for an environmental non-profit in Spain, WWOOF in Italy, and research small-scale farming systems in India. I am excited to learn from the diverse group of peers in this progam, and I hope that a degree in Agroecology will equip me to help increase the availability, adequacy and accessibility of food for vulnerable populations.

Published 14. July 2017 - 20:23 - Updated 28. August 2017 - 14:00