MUSCATINE, Iowa–The World Food Prize Foundation hosted its ninth annual Iowa Youth Institute (IYI), in partnership with Iowa State University. 264 students and 110 teachers from 93 Iowa high schools participated. This virtual, day-long event represented the first of its kind for the IYI, supported by over 90 experts from across Iowa.
Muscatine High School had six students, Vayda Bryant (9th), Alexander Pautz (9th), Belinda Brain (10th) Dailyn Garrett (11th), Whitney Winter (12th), and Alli Youngbauer (12th), participate by writing research papers related to food insecurities as well as presenting their findings to an expert panel of business, industry, Iowa State University faculty, and a peer group of seven to eight other students from across Iowa. Once finished with their presentations, students then answered questions from their audience. The expert panels included individuals such as the former president of DuPont Pioneer, Paul Schickler, and Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Associate Dean, David Acker.
Each student also received a $500 scholarship to the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The students have a chance, if interested, in participating in the Global Youth Institute, held in Des Moines as part of the World Food Prize events, for an additional $1,500 scholarship awarded at that time.
Each year, the World Food Prize Youth Institutes convenes high school students, teachers, and experts to explore and solve local, national, and global hunger and food security issues. To attend, students research and write a paper on a worldwide challenge related to hunger and food insecurity. Currently, 25 states, the Netherlands, and Honduras host Youth Institutes, where students can earn opportunities to serve as delegates at the Global Youth Institute as part of October’s Borlaug International Dialogue. The top Iowa participants will also join scientists and policy experts from around the world at the three-day World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in October.
“The World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute did not disappoint this year,” said Joshua Day, Agriculture Education Instructor and FFA Advisor at Muscatine School: “Even though we could not meet together physically, the organization and communication by leaders made it accessible and valuable for all involved. Students learned from each other and experts in global food security, they were given choices for virtual immersion experiences, and there were inspiring speeches from keynote speakers. I also appreciate the opportunities to learn and interact as a teacher. Even amid challenges of a new format, this was a valuable experience for all involved.”