The World Food Prize Foundation, headquartered in Des Moines, announced April 28 that it will send a record 23 high school students abroad for internships at renowned international research centers this summer. Eleven of those students hail from Iowa, and will delve into issues relating to hunger and poverty during eight-week, all-expenses-paid internships in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
The program was created by Dr. Norman Borlaug and John Ruan, Sr., as a way to inspire the next generation of agricultural scientists and to introduce these students to the wide array of fields related to global food security. The program has grown significantly over the past 16 years, initially sending just two students overseas the first year. Over the years, 204 young people have participated in this internship.
Nearly 1 billion people go hungry every day. As the world faces a growing population, climate volatility and other global challenges, the next generation will be charged with continuing the battle against hunger and finding new solutions to feed the world.
Young people will need to find solutions to feed the world
"It is our hope that by engaging these young people in actual hunger-fighting research, they will be inspired to pursue academic and career paths in science, food, agricultural and natural resource disciplines, and thus prepared to become tomorrow's innovative scientific and humanitarian leaders," said Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize. A full list of the 2014 interns can be found at the World Food Prize website.
The Borlaug-Ruan Internship is a unique program that allows student interns to participate in projects with distinguished researchers at leading agricultural research centers around the globe. While getting a firsthand view of real and pressing food security issues and nutrition problems in poverty-stricken areas, the students become an integral part of a project, spending time in the lab as well as days or weeks at a time in the field conducting research and interviews, and gathering data.
Interns are focused on projects to reduce hunger
The interns are involved in global projects dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger such as: fisheries and aquaculture studies; biotechnology; micro-credit and the women's self-help concept; the influence of education on household food security; and the calculation of Vitamin C concentration in numerous potato varieties.
A prerequisite for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship is attending the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, which occurs each October and exposes students to opportunities associated with careers in agricultural, natural resource, life sciences and affiliated fields. Youth Institute participants present research papers and interact with World Food Prize Laureates and renowned experts to discuss issues relating to food security throughout the world.
A list of the 23 Borlaug-Ruan International Interns, including photos, can be found online.
THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE is the foremost international award recognizing – without regard to race, religion, nationality or political beliefs – the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. It was founded in 1986 by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug. The award is presented each October in conjunction with the three-day Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, which draws 1,500 people from 75 countries to address cutting-edge issues concerning food security. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Borlaug and the 20th anniversary of the youth programs he created. Learn more at www.worldfoodprize.org.