The World Food Prize Foundation

World Food Prize Launches its Sixth Year of Award-Winning STEM Program with Record Number of High School Participants


The World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute has engaged over 1000 students from more than 225 schools across the state and has served as a national model for 17 other state youth institutes across the country, working to spark students’ interests for STEM and career paths in agriculture.   This year IYI students will participate in unique interactive labs and network with Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and faculty and business leaders.

The World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University is a transformative experience that annually attracts over 300 high school students across Iowa since it was inaugurated as a private-public partnership in 2011. The Iowa Youth Institute will ring in its sixth year by bringing together 320 high school students and 142 teachers from across the state to address critical issues in global food security, network with peers and industry experts, and discover hunger-fighting career paths in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

On Monday, April 24, Iowa State University’s campus will welcome hundreds of students, teachers and experts that gather for this annual STEM exploration program. Students will engage in interactive immersion sessions which cover topics of plant genetics, human nutrition, food security in Iowa, sustainability and the environment. This year’s keynote speakers include: Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Paul Schickler, former President of DuPont Pioneer, Krysta Harden, DuPont Pioneer Vice President of Public Policy and Chief Sustainability Officer, and Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.

In order to participate, each student is required to write a research paper identifying a challenge affecting food security in a developing nation. They will then propose a solution and present their findings to a panel of peers and experts at the one day event.

“IYI allows students to feel what it’s actually like to make a difference,” said Madison Forbes from Lone Tree High School. “It helps students grow through break-out sessions and opportunities to build lasting relationships. IYI gave me a better understanding of world issues, strengthened my networking skills, and allowed me to find new passions and purpose in life.”

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.

“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, and to 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,” said Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, president of The World Food Prize Foundation. The Ambassador added that, “The IYI is made possible by a generous personal financial grant by Paul and Claudia Schickler, the commitment of Iowa State University President Steven Leath and the support of the leadership and faculty of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “

Other World Food Prize youth programs also include the Global Youth Institute, the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship, the USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship and the George Washington Carver College Internship program.

More information is available at

EVENT DETAILS: This year's Iowa Youth Institute will take place Monday, April 24, at Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Center at Iowa State University in Ames, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Media are invited to attend.


                7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

                                Student & Teacher Registration and Reception, Hilton Coliseum           

                9:00 – 9:50 a.m.

                                Welcome Session: Hilton Coliseum

                                Speakers: Amb. Quinn, Dean Wintersteen, Paul Schickler, Krysta Harden

                10:00 – 12:00 p.m.

                                Student Roundtable Discussion Groups: 1st and 2nd Floors, Scheman Building

                                Student Immersion Sessions, Iowa State Campus, Scheman Building

                12:10 – 1:00 p.m.

                                Student Networking Luncheon: Hilton Coliseum

                1:00 – 1:20 p.m.

                                Keynote Address: Hilton Coliseum

                                Speakers: Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds

                1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

                                Student Roundtable Discussion Groups: 1st and 2nd Floors, Scheman Building

                                Student Immersion Sessions, Iowa State Campus, Scheman Building

                3:40 – 4:30 p.m.

                                Reception and Refreshments: Hilton Coliseum           

WHERE: The Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Center at Iowa State University, Ames and various laboratories across the campus. (Located at the corner of University and Lincoln Way; Enter from Center Drive.)

MEDIA DETAILS: Please check in at the registration desk at Hilton Coliseum (South Doors). Media are welcome to attend any and all parts of the day.


Twitter: @TheNextNormIA and @WorldFoodPrize, using the hashtag #IYI17. @TheNextNormIA and @WorldFoodPrize
Facebook: /TheNextNormIA and /WorldFoodPrize

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE:  The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored 45 outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge global food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE YOUTH PROGRAMS: The World Food Prize holds statewide youth institutes in several states to inspire young people to continue the legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug and fight hunger by pursuing educational and career paths in global agriculture; the goal is to eventually have every school in our home state of Iowa participate. The top students each year and others from around the country are invited to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in October, where they participate in other World Food Prize events such as the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and the Laureate Award Ceremony. There, youth interact with experts, participate in hunger relief programs and activities, and present their research findings to peers and global leaders. Over 20 students from the programs each year are then selected as Borlaug-Ruan International Interns, and are sent on all-expenses-paid, eight-week internships at research centers in Asia, Africa, Latin American and the Middle East. Finally, students who participate in the World Food Prize youth programs are also eligible to apply for Wallace-Carver internships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Nicole Barreca, Director of Communications and Events 
515.245.3735 (direct), 563.271.2995 (cell), or

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