Avery, now a sophomore in animal science at Iowa State University, was one of 13 students who participated in the World Food Prize's internship program this past summer.
The Borlaug-Ruan Internship, named after World Food Prize (WFP) founders John Ruan and Norman Borlaug, allows students to work in research centers in Latin America, Asia or Africa during the summer.
"This is a working internship that allows them to work for eight weeks doing whatever the centers need them to do," said Lisa Fleming, WFP youth programs manager.
"It really does open their eyes and help them decide what they want to do."
Avery spent her summer in Addis Ababa, Ethopia, at the International Livestock Research Institute.
She is interested in red meat and meat consumption, and Ethiopia is the largest livestock producer in Africa. Even so, Avery found it was rare for poor farmers to have much access to meat.
Iowa Farmer Today
STATS: Ethiopia's large livestock resources include 35 million cattle, 11.4 million sheep and 9.6 million goats.
MEANWHILE, ReliefWeb reports...
Ethiopia may have underestimated the amount of food aid it will require this year, the US ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Friday.
During a five-day visit to the country, Tony Hall said he believed the scale of food aid needs was "a lot more serious" than the government had estimated - it had aimed to provide help to only 2.2 million people.
"I think the issue of people that need help has probably been underestimated," he told reporters. "All I know is the food is not here yet, and I think the word will have to go out to the donors that it is probably a lot more serious than anticipated.
"[Some Ethiopians] aren't getting any food. They don't have any money. They can't buy it and they are slipping," he warned.