Future Farmer Foundation intern thrives in the U.S., returns to South Africa to finish degree

This story is one in a series from Ms. Frances Chisholm highlighting stories of lives impacted by World Poultry Foundation programs and workshops both in the U.S. and abroad. We encourage you to learn more about Ms. Chisolm and our poultry projects in South Africa.



Lelo celebrating 4th of July in Iowa style

Nonsikelelo (“Lelo”) Mngomezulu was one of the first Future Farmer Foundation interns hosted by Iowa Cage Free.  She was also honored to get trainer experience and be promoted to House Lead.

Lelo rotated from production to egg processing to managing manure, but the exacting work of production won her heart.  She was impressed by how even slight adjustments to lighting and temperature affected production.  She was also astounded at the farm’s high level of mechanization, from systems that pick up the eggs to manure belts that carry away the waste.  “They do things very different in America,” she exclaimed, “without a lot of labor.”

Lelo has nothing but praise for the Iowa Cage Free management team, in particular, her boss Complex Manager Kevin Buchanan.  He wrote, “[Lelo] excelled in her job… She has been a valuable asset to our team.” From the sound of it, the Iowa Free management team has a big heart for Lelo and her South African colleagues, too!

Outgoing and vivacious, but admittedly also battling homesickness, Lelo enjoyed the social company of her American, Mexican, Filipino and Ukrainian workmates.  In long discussions of cultural differences, she said she spent hours explaining and defending the African practice of paying a bride price, or “lobola,” and explaining that she didn’t grow up with elephants!

Back home now, Lelo is picking up her interrupted B.Tech studies in Agricultural Management and expects to finish her degree in March 2019.  Looking ahead, she’d like to start her own small broiler operation eventually, but she’s also keen to gain more management experience and apply her American know-how to a large South African poultry farm.  “I had a great experience in America,” she exclaimed.


Frances Chisholm


Ms. Frances Chisholm
Friend & Supporter of the WPF
Learn More About Frances





Related posts