The Northern Great Plains Youth Institute is a life-changing experience at the University of Minnesota Crookston where high school students engage with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges, participate in hands-on activities, and explore exciting ways to make a difference in Minnesota and around the world.
Students research issues they care about and propose their ideas to solve these grand challenges.
The Northern Great Plains Youth Institute is hosted by the University of Minnesota Crookston with the generous support of the American Crystal Sugar Co., Pine Lake Wild Rice, the Northern Crops Institute, the Northwest Regional Sustainable Partnership, Clause Farms, and AgCounty Farm Credit Services.
Students who participate in the Northern Great Plains Youth Institute can earn a scholarship to the University of Minnesota Crookston, recognition as a Borlaug Scholar, and qualify for internships and further opportunities.
At this exciting event, participating high school students have the opportunity to:
Present research and recommendations on ways to solve key global challenges in a short speech and small group discussions with statewide experts;
Connect with other student leaders to share ideas, identify solutions to these problems and build lasting friendships;
Explore the issues, current research and opportunities to make a difference at the University of Minnesota Crookston; and
Interact with global leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs working to end hunger and poverty and improve food security around the world.
Papers will be evaluated by The World Food Prize Board of Reviewers. This distinguished group of educators and experts was established to mentor and personally encourage students. Reviewers write thoughtful, personalized feedback to each student who participates in the Youth Institute.
How to participate
To participate in the Northern Great Plains Youth Institute, students research a global issue and write a two-three page paper under the supervision of a teacher or mentor (using the downloadable guidelines above).
Ninth through twelfth grade students are eligible to apply.
Registration and paper submission due online by: April 6, 2020.
There is no registration cost to participate in the Institute and meals will be provided during the event. However, both student and teacher/mentor participants must organize their own transportation to and from the event in Minnesota.
For more information please contact Michelle Christopherson at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 281-8369
Further opportunities for participants:
The Global Youth Institute
The top high school students from each Youth Institute will be competitively selected as delegates to the Global Youth Institute, held every October in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Global Youth Institute is an exciting three-day program where young leaders interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and the more than 1,000 global leaders from 65 countries attending the World Food Prize's annual international symposium.
Global Youth Institute delegates will be eligible to apply for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship.
Borlaug-Ruan International Internships
An all-expenses-paid, eight-week hands-on experience for high school students to work with world-renowned scientists and policymakers at leading research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Borlaug-Ruan Interns get a firsthand view of pressing food security and nutritional problems in poverty-stricken areas and take part in groundbreaking research.
Students selected as delegates for the Global Youth Institute are eligible to apply for the Borlaug Ruan International Internship.
USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowships
A paid summer research or policy placement for college students at a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory, agency, or at USDA headquarters in Washington D.C. Wallace-Carver Fellows 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. Fellows travel to Washington DC as part of their fellowship for a week-long high-level leadership program hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
All Borlaug Scholars are eligible to apply for a the USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship.