Global Agriculture

15 students to complete international internships in food and agriculture with World Food Prize Foundation partners

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06 June 2023, US: This summer, the World Food Prize Foundation will place 15 high school and college students as Borlaug-Ruan International Interns at renowned agricultural research institutions in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

“We are extremely pleased that for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Borlaug-Ruan interns will be returning to in-person placements at 12 partner organizations in five different countries,” said Ambassador Terry Branstad, President of the World Food Prize Foundation. 

Together with a local mentor, interns will delve into critical food and agriculture issues and complete substantive research and projects in agriculture, food systems and climate change.

“The Borlaug-Ruan internship is a special and highly-valued program of the World Food Prize Foundation that empowers young food and agricultural leaders with research opportunities early in their careers,” said Mashal Husain, Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation. 

The internship experience provides a unique opportunity for youth to contribute to leading research institutions and development organizations alongside world-renowned scientists and policymakers. Since its inception in 1998, the Foundation has placed more than 400 students through the program. 

Interns and their parents recently traveled to Des Moines, lowa to complete an orientation, where they learned about health and safety while traveling and further details of the program. The cohort also discussed cultural competency and sensitivity and how their life experiences differ from each other and their host countries. 

“It was a pleasure meeting the interns and their parents in Des Moines, and we look forward to hearing what they accomplish during their Borlaug-Ruan internship and beyond,” Ambassador Terry Branstad said.

Rebecca Picard, the Foundation’s director of Internships and Youth Impact, visited host facilities throughout the past year to meet with partners and review professional and personal experiences for students. 

“This cohort of young leaders is more than prepared to contribute positively to global food security now and in the future,” Picard said.

Congratulations to these young leaders in food and agriculture. Meet the 2023 Borlaug-Ruan International Interns: 

  • Saumya Balaji, Iowa State University: S M Sehgal Foundation | Gurugram, INDIA
  • Emma Barrett, Yale University: M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) | Chennai, INDIA
  • Nick Blumenthal, University of Florida: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) | Washington, D.C., USA
  • Fernando Flores, Clarksville High School: World Vegetable Center | Hyderabad, India
  • Sophia Fratta, Fratta Cruz Academy: EARTH University | Guácimo, COSTA RICA
  • Zac Frazier, Mount Pleasant High School: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) | Nairobi, KENYA
  • Lexie Goldman, Cornell University: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) | Washington, D.C., USA
  • Alani Haile, Atlantic High School: International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) | Mbita, KENYA
  • Huda Ibrahim, Gudlav Bilderskolan: International Potato Center (CIP) | Lima, PERU
  • Kate Keresztes, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA): San Jose, COSTA RICA
  • Mela Lin, Ursuline Academy: Kisano Vertical Ag | Jalna, INDIA
  • Tahm Loyd, Jefferson High School: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) | Hyderabad, INDIA
  • Haylie Moore, Iowa State University: Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) | San Jose, COSTA RICA
  • Diya Nair, Woodbridge Academy Magnet School: International Potato Center (CIP) | Lima, PERU
  • Arilyn Tegtmeier-Oatman, Iowa State University: International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) | Mbita, KENYA

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