The Indissoluble Bond between Shijiazhuang Foreign Language School and the World Food Prize
The World Food Prize, which is referred to as the Nobel Prize in the food and agriculture sector as well as the highest honor in the international agricultural arena, was established in 1986 by Dr. Norman Borlaug, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, to reward those who made great contributions to providing people with rich and nutritious food. Mr. He Kang, the former Minister of Agriculture of China, and Mr. Yuan Longping, the father of “hybrid rice”, won the prize in 1993 and 2004 respectively. Former Vice President Xi Jinping attended the China-US Agricultural High-level Seminar and delivered a speech at the World Food Prize in 2012.
Launched in 1994 by Dr. Norman Borlaug, the World Food Prize Youth Institute is the nation’s largest youth project on agriculture and food, with more than 200 outstanding high school students from all US states and countries around the world attending a three-day youth institute organized by the World Food Prize Foundation.
On June 4, 2012, the current US ambassador to China and former Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, led a delegation to visit Shijiazhuang Foreign Language School (SFLS). In a face-to-face conversation with the students, he and Ms. Sarah Lande introduced the World Food Prize and the Youth Institute project to the students of SFLS, hoping they would participate in the project.
In October of 2013, on the 30th anniversary of the friendship established between Hebei Province and Iowa State University, with the support and assistance of Ambassador Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, and Mr. Ye Changqing, the current Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of Hebei Province and former Executive President of the Hebei People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, in October of 2013, five students and one teacher from SFLS represented China to take part in the World Food Prize’s Global Youth Institute. It was the only team represented by non-native English speakers, and the voice of Chinese youth was heard for the first time on the world stage through the outstanding performance of SFLS students.
From 2013 to 2018, 30 students from SFLS had the honor to participate in the World Food Prize Ceremony and Global Youth Institute held in Des Moines, Iowa in October. Based on careful selection and in-depth research, they completed 30 high-quality English-language academic papers and in-depth discussions with high-school students from all over the world on agricultural issues. In addition, they exchanged views with previous winners of the World Food Prize and listened to high-end interviews of agricultural scientists, economists, politicians and well-known figures from all over the world. They have received world-wide praise for Chinese students at the World Food Prize Youth Institute.
In 2014, on the 20th anniversary of SFLS, Ambassador Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation sent a congratulatory video and letter. Following up the letter on July 2, 2019, Ambassador Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, visited SFLS. After visiting the school, he spoke highly of SFLS’s educational philosophy and special courses. Then, in front of more than 300 students, he shared his deep respect for China and the major role played by the World Food Prize in promoting world agricultural development and world peace.
In order to further expand the influence of the World Food Prize in China and promote the friendship between Hebei Province and Iowa State, and also in view of the outstanding performance of SFLS students at the World Food Prize’s Global Youth Institute, Ambassador Quinn increased the number of students who will take part in the 2019 World Food Prize from 5 to 10, thus more SFLS students participated in the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute.
The students of SFLS stepped onto the world stage via the World Food Prize, and made China heard around the world.
To the students, just keep going and we will have a promising future. In honor of 2019 World Food Prize and the 25th Anniversary of the Global Youth Institute and SFLS, we’d like to give our best wishes to the World Food Prize! SFLS will keep the close and friendly exchanges continuing with the World Food Prize. Let’s build a better future together!