WFP encourages students

Norman Borlaug, the figurehead for the World Food Prize, has had a huge impact on the increasingly troubling world hunger. In 1937, Borlaug graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in forestry, then went to work for the United States Forest Service. Later on, he returned to college to receive his Ph.D. in plant pathology. After graduation, Dr. Borlaug worked as a microbiologist for E.I. Dupont de Nemours, until being released from his wartime services. In 1944 he worked in Mexico to improve wheat development, and from there, he taught a whole new generation of Mexican scientists. Norman E. Borlaug’s work on wheat development later, in 1970, earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. As a result of his efforts to prevent hunger and famine around the world, it is said that Dr. Borlaug has “saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived.” Since 1990, John Ruan has run the World Food Prize, and in 2008 he accepted a $5 million donation from the Monsanto Company to keep Borlaug’s world-changing organization running and fully operational.
Now the World Food Prize has youth programs in Iowa, Borlaug’s home state. The World Food Prize will be holding a convention for Iowa high school students at Iowa State University in Ames. Students and teachers should visit if they are interested in being involved with this convention.

The Norman Borlaug World Food Prize Convention is having its annual meeting, and students are encouraged to attend and learn about the convention itself and about the struggles and accomplishments the scientists have faced.  The students participate in activities on the campus to research the work taking place in Iowa addressing global challenges. Also, students who participate will receive a scholarship to attend the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.

Students who go to this event may apply for an all-expenses-paid, eight week, hands-on summer experience, working with skilled scientists and policymakers at leading research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Also, students attending can apply for another internship with the USDA Wallace-Carver internship. USDA interns conduct original research or policy analysis through paid, summer internships at USDA field operations including the headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Terry Branstad sent a letter, encouraging that CFHS students should participate in this World Food Prize convention. He said, “… your school should become part of the World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute and at the same time enhance your efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM.)”

Senior Maya Amjadi attended this educational convention this year. She said, “I found the World Food Prize very fascinating because I met world leaders who discussed problems with food security that I had never noticed before; specifically, I learned the importance of education, along with more obvious problems in villages, including seeding, watering and money that third world countries are struggling with.”

She recommended this convention to other students. “I would definitely recommend the WFP to students who are interested in learning about the world around them and are interested in investigating new solutions,” Amjadi said.

She learned new and interesting things. “Besides everything I learned from lectures and seminars, I learned a lot from fellow Borlaug scholars. Together we collaborated on ideas that reflected the influences of the students’ cultures from around the world,” Amjadi said.

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