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Iowa Youth Institute

ANKENY, Iowa (May 6, 2019) - Twenty-four students from Ankeny Schools were among more than 300 to attend the eighth annual World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University.


Representatives from 130 schools, including Northview and Southview Middle Schools and Ankeny Centennial and Ankeny High Schools, explored critical global food security issues and discovered academic and career paths in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math).


Each student attending had written a research paper on a key issue; such as environmental volatility, soil degradation, nutrition, water scarcity or gender inequality, impacting hunger in a developing country. During the Youth Institute, the students proposed their solutions in small-group roundtable discussions facilitated by academic and industry experts. Students also engaged in interactive immersion sessions, covering topics like plant genetics, human nutrition, food insecurity in Iowa, sustainability, and the environment.

"My hope for all of you is that, having been here today, you will carry with you a part of Dr. Borlaug’s legacy and that as a member of the next generation of young Iowans, you will commit yourself to continue your education, build your careers, and conduct your lives focused on that goal, that unites us all and makes us so very proud to be Iowans: using the power of science and STEM to feed the world," said Iowa Governor Kim Renolds.

The World Food Prize Youth Programs were started by Norman Borlaug and John Ruan Sr. to inspire the next generation to become involved in our food system.  Other World Food Prize youth programs also include the Global Youth Institute, the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship and the USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship.