Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research Welcomes New Program Manager

David DeYoung has been named Program Manager for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research.

David will oversee a portfolio of innovative and effective research, training, and outreach projects related to grain legumes that address the needs of grain legume value-chain stakeholders, policy makers, and development professionals. The Legume Systems Innovation Lab is managed by Michigan State University.

David’s global interest started at an early age when he was introduced to people from around the world. “Growing up in a university town (Kalamazoo, MI) I met many international students and my family hosted a foreign exchange high school student,” remarked David. “Once I had the opportunities to study and intern abroad, I confirmed my passion for international work.”

His legume research experience includes farmer technology adoption, varietal identification and seed dissemination models in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Haiti. This research was done in close collaboration with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes (Legume Innovation Lab).  He has additional research experience in South American and Asia.  David, most recently, has worked with a Tanzania based team on national food commodity price information systems and health issues with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy at Michigan State University (MSU).

In Honduras, David worked for a non-government organization promoting job creation through small and medium enterprise (SME) development including business training, consulting and microfinance.  As a graduate student in the Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics (AFRE) department at MSU, he studied the determinants of sustainability of community-based seed production and marketing groups in Nicaragua.

 David received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Calvin College and a master’s degree from AFRE at MSU.  

 Q&A with David DeYoung : 

 Who is in your family?

My wife and I have two children and expect a third later this year.


No pets

What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend?

On weekends I enjoy spending time with my family at a park, zoo or museum, and if there is still time, outdoor activities such as working in a vegetable garden, cycling, running, and hiking.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?

My grandma’s native village in the Netherlands where she lived during World War II.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? 

Spend a week on a small-scale farm in a developing country without running water and electricity.

Do you love or hate rollercoasters? 

Love, but I haven’t been on one in over a decade.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

In professional cycling there are three “Grand Tour” races that last three weeks. The Tour de France is the most recognized, but the other two are the Vuelta a Espana in Spain and the Giro de Italia in Italy. The amazing adventure would be to follow the race around the country visiting the small rural towns, mountain-top resorts and major urban cities included in the event.

What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten? 

It’s a toss-up between caterpillars, fried crickets, and chicken feet.

If you had to eat one thing for every meal going forward, what would you eat? 

I promise this was my answer even before joining the Legume Systems Innovation Lab.  I would eat rice and beans cooked in coconut oil.




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