World Food Prize Looking for the Next Norman Borlaug

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AMES, Iowa -- The World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute met for its Fifth Anniversary session on the floor of Hilton Coliseum in Ames on Monday.

Three hundred students and about 200 faculty and advisors are coming to learn more about the expanding world population and the need to produce more food.

The students are on the campus of Iowa State University to learn more about career paths in agriculture they could take, which could help address world hunger.

“Norman Borlaug and John Ruan Sr. started the World Food Prize Youth Programs to inspire the next generation to become involved in our food system,” said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Foundation. Quinn said he hopes students "have that spark of curiosity that will compel them to confront the greatest challenge in human history: whether we can sustainably and nutritiously feed the more than 9 billion people who will be on our planet by 2050.”

Quinn said he hopes students "have that spark of curiosity that will compel them to confront the greatest challenge in human history: whether we can sustainably and nutritiously feed the more than nine billion people who will be on our planet by 2050.”

The students worked to prepare papers to present in the areas of STEM, Science Technology, Engineering, and Math. Ambassador Quinn said he liked to call STEM, actually STEAM, adding an “A” for agriculture, or even the arts. Quinn said he had hired artists to do pieces for the World Food Prize, which would inspire people to work on the battle against hunger.

“Not only do we need to produce enough food, fiber, and feed to meet the needs of all these people, we need to produce it in an environmentally sensitive way,” said ISU President, Steven Leath. “We can ensure the entire population across the planet has access to high-quality food.”

“Former Secretary of State George Marshall said food is the very basis of reconstruction, hunger and insecurity are the worst enemies of peace,” said Kevin Deihl, who is the Director of Regulatory Strategy and Industry Relations with DuPont Pioneer.

The students also attended immersion sessions where they could get a close-up look at various topics like environmental volatility, soil degradation, nutrition, water scarcity, and gender inequality.

In round-table sessions, students had the chance to offer solutions to some of the problems related to world hunger.