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UM News
February 13, 2013


Joy W’Njuguna, founder and chief operations officer of Royal Tea of Kenya LLC, will present a lecture titled “Lessons from the World’s Oldest Tea Farmer: Small-Scale Farming and Kenya’s Environmental Renaissance” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the North Underground Lecture Hall at The University of Montana. The event is free and open to the public.

W’Njuguna hails from one of Kenya’s oldest tea families. She learned the tea business and sustainable farming from her father, Samuel W’Njuguna, and noticed early on how pricing structure benefited farmers. Her father has long championed small-scale tea farmers and was instrumental in the privatization of the Kenya Tea Development Agency. In 2000, he rallied small-scale farmers to vote for the creation of a government-free tea cooperative that ended up with 65 factories and more than 580,000 tea farmers. Her grandfather, Arthur Komo, is the patriarch of her tea family and one of the oldest tea farmers in the world. At 112, he still oversees his lush ancestral tea land.

W’Njuguna will relate lessons she’s learned about business and tea farming from her family. Her own experience spans four continents and her education in international affairs and politics has helped her understand the socio-political climate in Kenya and the U.S.

The lecture is sponsored by the UM Environmental Studies Program, the Global Leadership Initiative, International Programs and the Lake Missoula Tea Company.

W’Njuguna also will be the honored guest at a tea tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Lake Missoula Tea Company’s shop and tea bar at 126 E. Broadway St., on the second floor of the historic Masonic Hall in downtown Missoula.

For more information call UM environmental studies Associate Professor Dan Spencer at 406-243-6111 or email





Contact: Dan Spencer, associate professor, UM Environmental Studies Program, 406-243-6111,