Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 11, 2017 Featured - Lone Tree - World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute hosts record number of participants
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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Since the inception of the program, the Iowa Youth Institute has engaged over 1,000 students from more than 225 schools across Iowa and continues reaching and inspiring students across our state to fight hunger at home and abroad and to explore STEM career paths. Students were immersed into the world food insecurity and interacted with Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, DuPont Pioneer Vice President Krysta Harden, world-renowned faculty experts and business leaders.

Last Monday, the sixth annual World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute brought together 299 students from 131 high schools at Iowa State University to explore critical issues related to global food security and discover academic and career paths in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Mentored by Bridget Mahoney, students from Lone Tree High School in Lone Tree participated this year. Wyatt Westfall researched demographics in India; Rebecca Wilson researched education in Haiti; Madison Forbes researched human diseases in Kenya; Holley Johnson researched farm to market in Democratic Republic of the Congo; Jaxon Mullinnix researched water scarcity in Somalia.

In order to participate, each student is required to write a research paper identifying a key issue - such as environmental volatility, nutrition, water scarcity or gender inequality - that impacts hunger in a developing country. They will then propose a solution and present their findings to a panel of peers and experts at the one day event.

Gov. Terry Branstad, as the luncheon speaker, spoke to the students about the importance of feeding the growing population. “I truly believe that there just may be one of you here today who will be able to follow in Norman Borlaug’s footsteps, who will make a similar breakthrough achievement, one that will help us meet the challenge of feeding the 9 billion people who will soon be on our planet. For you students, it is your generation that must meet this challenge—which is perhaps the greatest challenge agriculture has ever faced.”

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds spoke about how crucial the STEM programs are to students in Iowa. “We need to have the most well-educated generation in the history of our state if we are to be able to do the research here on this campus, and to attract the companies and investors who will develop the new technologies that will enable us to produce more food, and more nutritious food, in a sustainable way.”

DuPont Pioneer Vice President and former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Krysta Harden, delivered the opening keynote address in which she said, “In the next 35 years, every single day, 150,000 people will be added to our population. That is four times the size of the student body at Iowa State. Does that make you scared? Does that make you think? Does that make you realize how important it is, these decisions that you make, these passions that you have, how you need to turn that into constructive, meaningful solutions.”

The event included over 80 industry professionals and business leaders who served as discussion experts as students shared their research and ideas on how to combat global hunger and poverty. Dr. Norman Borlaug, Iowa’s greatest humanitarian-hero, whose statue is now enshrined in the U.S. Capitol for his exceptional agricultural and humanitarian achievements, founded the World Food Prize in 1986. Dr. Borlaug envisioned the World Food Prize youth programs as a way to inspire the next generation of scientists, policy makers, educators, and community leaders to pursue careers fighting hunger and poverty at home and abroad.

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