Six Minnesota students chosen for World Food Prize event

Six Minnesota high school students have been selected to participate in the Global Youth Institute, part of the annual World Food Prize International Symposium from Oct. 13-15 in Des Moines, Iowa.

The six students who will represent Minnesota at the Global Youth Institute hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation are: JayEven McGee of Benson; Alicia Johnson of Dassel; Akshay Naik of Apple Valley; Eleora DeMuth of Grand Rapids; Ben Chrepta of Rochester and Rebekah Klassen of Mountain Lake. Taran Howard of Deer River, Kalandria Gustafson-Schwartz and Ashley Palmer of Grand Rapids were selected as alternates. The Minnesota students will join more than 300 students from around the country and world to interact with experts, participate in hunger relief programs and activities, and present their research findings to peers and global leaders.

The students were chosen from a field of 50 Minnesota high school students who participated in the Minnesota Youth Institute on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus on May 7. During the institute, students discussed their solutions for global problems ranging from water scarcity to malnutrition. The teachers who mentored the students through the process also will attend.

The Minnesota Youth Institute is administered by the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and is a division of the World Food Prize Foundation’s Global Youth Institute program.

Minnesota students advance to the Global Youth Institute based on evaluation of a research paper and presentation of their research to a panel of experts and interview. U of M alumni, industry experts and faculty members comprised the student review panel.  

By participating in the Global Youth Institute, students are eligible to apply for the prestigious Borlaug-Ruan International Internship, an all-expenses-paid, eight-week hands-on experience, working with world-renowned scientists and policymakers at leading research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Since 1998, over 200 students have participated.

High school students interested in participating in the 2017 Minnesota Youth Institute to be held on May 15, 2017 at the University of Minnesota should watch z.umn.edu/mnyi for upcoming information.

The World Food Prize, conceived by Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize and three-time University of Minnesota graduate, since 1986 has honored outstanding people who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world.