The world’s population will be nearly 10 billion by 2050. This means we’ve got to work together – across continents, cultures and markets – to make abundant, nutritious food available so everyone can realize their full potential. And we need to do this in a way that sustains the health of our planet.

Land O'Lakes Venture37 is uniquely positioned to do just that. That’s because we have the backing of Land O’Lakes, Inc., a $15 billion farmer-owned cooperative with diversified agribusinesses in dairy, livestock and crops. Pair this with local insights from our nearly 40 years of agricultural development and we’ve got what it takes to unlock the potential of agricultural business ventures around the world.

Our Mission
Striving to help global communities thrive through agriculture. We are focused on long-term, human-centered impact. That’s why you’ll find a few commonalities across our portfolio:
Our decisions are evidence-based.
Data and science ensure our roadmap is built on facts, not assumptions. Evidence is ever-evolving—and so are we.
We regularly learn and adapt.
It’s about accelerating what’s working and changing what’s not. Because, we know we can always do better.
Creative planning is our thing.
Each global community is nuanced and complex, so is there any other way? Local insights must drive customization.
Our work is market-driven.
It’s all about finding challenges in the market and turning them into opportunities—all to accelerate supply and demand.
Social inclusion leads to lasting progress.
When men and women of all ages and ethnicities equally take part in a society, it strengthens the whole.

In 1981, a group of farmers gathered in a Minnesota board room of Land O’Lakes, Inc. to discuss a bold idea: international development. As members of a cooperative dating back to 1921, these farmers knew from experience that uniting to improve agriculture can lead to healthier communities and stronger economies. They also understood that food security and economic prosperity are good for all—for business ventures, for trade and for a more secure world.

This is how Land O'Lakes Venture37 got its start.

Today we are an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, but we still leverage expertise, innovation and technology from Land O’Lakes, Inc.’s four diversified businesses. This takes shape in many ways. Whether its championing food safety regulations, driving innovation through research + development, optimizing supply chain networks or offering farmers services to make informed decisions— we combine premier agribusiness know-how with local insights to create lasting impact.

Nearly 40 years after a room full of farmers decided to work together across continents and cultures for the common good—we still share a common purpose with Land O'Lakes, Inc. of Feeding Human Progress by advancing agriculture.

John Ellenberger,
Executive Director
John leads Land O’Lakes Venture37, a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1981 by Land O’Lakes, Inc. He assumed the role in January 2017 after leading the Land O'Lakes, Inc. U.S. Dairy Foods  teams since 2008. Before joining Land O’Lakes, John led corporate marketing at American Medical Systems and spent 15 years in various marketing leadership roles at General Mills. He earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Minnesota. John also serves on the Board of Directors for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, and ServeMinnesota.
Giselle Aris, Group Director of Strategic
Partnerships and New Ventures
Giselle joined our team in 2011, after spending two years designing, scaling and managing a smallholder farmer-owned dairy enterprise in South India. She brings over a decade of experience in facilitating inclusive private investment and accelerated business growth in emerging markets. Giselle loves dreaming up new types of shared value partnerships for advancing global agriculture development and food security – so if you have ideas on ways we could co-invest towards these goals, get in touch! Giselle’s happiest when she’s climbing a mountain, riding her bike, reading a book, or cooking and eating in good company.
Greg Grothe, Director of Project
Design and Technical Services
Greg joined our team in 2012 and has served in both technical and program management roles. He brings nearly 20 years of experience in strategy and business development in both financial services and agribusiness industries. Greg is passionate about leveraging the power of markets and social enterprise to create innovative solutions that address development challenges. He enjoys spending lake time with his wife and two young daughters, skijoring with his standard poodle Ruby and fly fishing across the Upper Midwest.
Dai Harvey, Technical Director
Dai Harvey embarked on his career with Venture37 in 2004 in his home of Zambia, with a focus of growing private sector involvement in the dairy industry. Since then, Dai has provided technical and management oversight for all types of agricultural projects in over 40 countries worldwide. Now based in the United Kingdom, he still has interests on the family farm in Zambia, where his brother manages dryland crops, livestock and tourism operations. Dai is passionate about creating opportunities for improving consumer access to safe, nutritious food and endeavoring to ensure farmers capture more of the end value.
Tiffany Kramlich,
Human Resources Director
Tiffany joined our team in 2017. She also supports the Land O’ Lakes, Inc. Feed, Finance, and Corporate International businesses. She has 15+ years of experience providing strategic HR support to global businesses. Tiffany is mom to a teen, and when she’s not busy chauffeuring her daughter to activities, spends her free time swimming, meditating and doing yoga.
Kyle Nelson
IT Director - Corporate Business Lead, IT International
Kyle joined the Land O’Lakes Venture37 team in 2020 after spending four years in different IT leadership roles from IT Security to IT Operations, and he is currently IT Business Lead for all corporate areas. He focuses on helping organizations optimize technology while right-sizing processes to drive operational efficiencies and business growth. He has over 20 years of experience in both corporate and nonprofit organizations across manufacturing, healthcare, insurance, and retail. Kyle enjoys traveling, boating, skiing, photography and is an avid Minnesota Vikings football fan. He and his wife love spending time at the lake with the family.
Ashley Peterson, Senior Communications Manager

Ashley joined the Land O’Lakes Venture37 team in 2014. She has nearly 15 years of experience in leading and executing communications and marketing strategies in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Ashley is all about collaboration. She works with worldwide leaders to develop communications plans that align with key organizational priorities and serves as a thought partner to make complex information understandable. She also enjoys using communications to advance common objectives with industry stakeholders. Ashley is a proud wife, mom, jetsetter and sweet tooth.

Mary Jo Robinson,
Group Director – Operations
Mary Jo has been with Land O’Lakes for more than 30 years. She has held a variety of financial and operational positions both with Land O’Lakes, Inc. and with Land O’Lakes Venture37, working exclusively in Venture37 since 2002. Mary Jo holds a BA in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and an MBA in International Financial Management from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota. A recent empty nester, Mary Jo and her husband Gregg, love to travel, play golf and spend time on Minnesota lakes in the summer.
Meredith Saggers,
Director of Global Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning
A part of our team since 2014, Meredith leads the strategic direction of MEL across the organization. She brings 10+ years of experience implementing quality MEL systems in agriculture, education, and economic empowerment programs throughout the world. Meredith enjoys good food and fitness and is an avid traveler for work and pleasure.
Don Taussig,
Director of Global Security Services
Don has been providing security services for Land O’Lakes Venture37 and Land O’Lakes, Inc. since 2012. His experience includes more than 30 years of leadership and consulting in the areas of corporate security, law enforcement, investigations and international operations. He retired from the U.S. Army’s Military Police Corps in 1996 and from the U.S. Civil Service in 2011. One highlight of Don’s career was his appointment as a Director of Security for the Executive Office of the President by President George W. Bush.