Minnesota high school students meet global food leaders

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 2:15pm

Nine Minnesota high school students, from six different high schools, shared their ideas for ending hunger at the World Food Prize’s Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, October 19-21.  

Land O’Lakes a sponsor

The students, who joined 200 of their peers from around the world, were finalists at the Minnesota Youth Institute competition, which is sponsored by Land O’Lakes and the U’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences. There, they presented their papers on ways to provide access to sufficient safe and nutritious food to those in need.  

Meeting global food leaders

As part of the Global Youth Institute, students attended the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium where more than 1,200 international leaders, farmers, agribusiness executives, representatives from non-governmental organizations, and development experts from more than 65 countries discussed global food security.

Notable presenters included Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, 2017 World Food Prize Laureate and president of the African Development Bank; Tom Vilsack, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; and Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes Inc.

Global Food Challenge and solving food insecurity

Students also heard a panel discussion on the "Land O'Lakes Global Food Challenge and What’s Next," which included U of M student and Land O’ Lakes Global Food Challenge participant Elizabeth Alonzi. They then took part in roundtable discussions on solving food insecurity, where they shared their winning papers from the Minnesota Youth Institute’s World Food Prize competition.

“We need to engage high school students in these conversations. Within the next 10 to 15 years, these kids will be the ones making decisions on food security issues. The Youth Institute is creating future leaders.”

—Mohamed Yakub, Minnesota Youth Institute coordinator

photo: World Food Prize