When I heard that we were going to visit Dow AgroSciences, I was very excited. Coming from the West African country of Ghana with a population of about 27 million, and with a dream of transforming my company into a biotech company, visiting a biotech company like Dow was a dream come true.
Dow AgroSciences has been impacting lives in Africa for years and I desperately wanted to meet a member of the Dow AgroSciences Hunger Solutions Network, which actively partners with institutes and farmers in Africa to impact food security. I had so many questions I wanted to ask and I could not wait to ask them.
As the day approached however, my excitement quickly changed into apprehension. The hour and a half journey from Purdue University to Dow AgroSciences headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana was like a day’s journey. I was so full of apprehension; I could not even enjoy the beautiful scenery of farms and buildings from West Lafayette to Indianapolis.
I felt my apprehension quickly dissipate, with the firm handshake, a wide smile and a greeting of “Welcome to Dow AgroSciences” that greeted all the twenty five Mandela Washington Fellows from Purdue University when we arrived at the headquarters of Dow.
I was amazed at how friendly the staff of Dow was to us. They answered all my questions and even offered to put me in contact with other people who could help with more answers. The staff was impressed with us as we were impressed with them and the question that kept coming to all the fellows was “How can we help in your business”. I was particularly impressed with the member of staff who took my group on a tour around the facilities: Rhonda Hamm spoke with a passion, when she told us about the work that Dow was doing and the impact around communities across the world. Through her eyes, I saw how the company was impacting lives,
The facilities and greenhouses were very impressive; so were the scientists who spent years trying to discover how to produce, grow or enhance the yield of a variety of crops to feed the world. I was particularly surprised when scientists who would usually shy away from networking events came to interact with us and explain or offer clarity to the science of what happens at Dow AgroSciences.
My take away from the various interactions however was when I asked a young lady from the African American community why she chose to work for Dow. I asked her if it was about money. She smiled and told me “I really believe in the impact Dow AgroSciences is making in the world and I want to be part of that impact”
I left Dow with a feeling of satisfaction and a hope that maybe we can indeed feed the world.
Laud Anthony Basing has more than seven years' experience in laboratory testing, where he combines strong analytical skills with practical knowledge. He is managing director of Incas Diagnostic Services Ltd, a company which provides high-quality routine and specialized medical and industrial laboratory services in healthcare and agricultural environments. He volunteers for the Upper West Akim District in building capacity for laboratory workers and organizes mentorship programs for several youth groups in Kumasi. He is the American Society for Microbiology’s Young Ambassador to Ghana, an executive member of GABMLS, a board member of Guzakuza, a firm that seeks to grow women agripreneurs, the president of YALN-Ghana, and a member of the Alliance for Young Entrepreneurs-Ghana. His dream is to expand his company into a biotech company with specialized areas of research and diagnostics in food safety, while impacting the lives of young people through an expanded mentorship program.