Audience of 50,000 students, teachers, leaders, focus on carrying out Borlaug’s legacy and engaging youth in agriculture.
(Des Moines, Iowa) Oct. 31, 2014 – Today at the National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky., Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, President of The World Food Prize Foundation, accepted FFA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Citation, as the Foundation draws to a close its centennial celebration of founder Dr. Norman Borlaug, whose passion for engaging youth in agriculture lives on through programs that aim to inspire the next generation of scientists and humanitarians.
"It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by National FFA at their national convention with more than 50,000 students, teachers, and leaders in food and agriculture participating,” Quinn said. “This honor is especially meaningful as we culminate the Norman Borlaug Centennial Year honoring the greatest agricultural scientist ever, and the founder of the World Food Prize. Norm had great respect for FFA and was passionate about engaging youth in agriculture. It is truly inspiring to see that legacy living on in so many young people in FFA from across America, including several FFA student leaders who are alumni of our World Food Prize programs.”
The Distinguished Service Citation is the highest award presented to an organization, agency, business, industry or other group by the National FFA Organization. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding contributions made at the national level to agricultural education and FFA.
The World Food Prize Foundation was nominated for the award by Dwight Armstrong, CEO of the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation.
The World Food Prize Foundation this year celebrated 20 years of engaging youth in agriculture through its youth programs, which expose students to food, agriculture, and global development issues, and encourage youth to pursue academic and career paths in those areas.
Thousands of the top high school students from around the world and their teachers have participated in the Global Youth Institute, which takes place in October in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize events. Participating students and teachers have the unique opportunity to engage with their peers from around the world, tour cutting-edge industrial and research facilities, perform service-learning activities, and take part in symposium discussions with distinguished global leaders in science, industry and policy.
In addition, State Youth Institutes being built out across the country allow students to engage in research and present their findings with prominent leaders in global agriculture.
Alums of these programs are also eligible for the prestigious World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan International Internship, which provides high school students an all-expenses-paid, eight-week, hands-on experience working with world-renowned scientists and policymakers at leading research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East where they conduct research and field studies.
Alums are also eligible to apply for USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowships, a program that provides exceptional college students the opportunity to collaborate with leading American scientists and policymakers through paid internships at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research centers and offices across the country. The interns are stationed at eight- to twelve-week assignments, where they learn firsthand to analyze agricultural and economic policy; assist in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and take part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research.
Dr. Norman Borlaug, whose centennial is being celebrated this year and whose statue was earlier this year installed in the U.S. Capitol, envisioned these World Food Prize youth programs as the way to inspire the next generation of scientists and humanitarians to go into critical fields and to help solve the challenge ahead: Feeding the 9 billion people who will be on our planet by the year 2050.
More about the World Food Prize Youth Programs can be found at www.worldfoodprize.org/youth.
The World Food Prize was created in 1987 by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug, and is the foremost international award recognizing individuals whose achievements have advanced human development by increasing the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium, which draws over 1,000 people from 65 countries to discuss cutting-edge issues in food security, and several youth education programs to inspire the next generation to explore careers in agriculture and fighting hunger. More at www.worldfoodprize.org.
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 579,678 student members as part of 7,570 local FFA chapters. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. More at www.ffa.org.