Global Agriculture

Call for Participation: Iowa Students Invited to 2024 World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute

14 February 2024, Iowa: The World Food Prize Foundation announced the opening of registration for the 13th annual Iowa Youth Institute (IYI), a life-changing event which has brought together over 3,000 like-minded students since its inception in 2012. All Iowa students, 8-12 grade, are invited to participate in the event held on April 29, 2024, at Iowa State University.

As a part of the Foundation’s globally renowned youth programs, the IYI strives to motivate the next generation of global leaders to pursue impactful careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It achieves this goal by facilitating connections between students, Iowa State University faculty and industry experts to address crucial challenges in global food security.

“The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University is proud of our ongoing partnership in presenting the IYI,” said Daniel Robison, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University. “Since 2012, we have hosted over 3,000 Iowa high school students as they explore solutions to global hunger and food security issues. Hundreds of the students chose to continue their interest in many majors at Iowa State University and we believe all were inspired to do their own part to combat hunger through the IYI.”

To participate, students are challenged to research topics of food insecurity in the country of their choice, building a well-reasoned research essay, capping off with the student’s personal recommendation for a solution to their researched problem. At the event, students will present their findings in front of leading experts and Iowa State University faculty. In addition, student attendees will hear dynamic speakers in future career-related discussions, including health sciences, technology, agriculture, engineering and policy.

“When I think of the Iowa Youth Institute, I can’t help but think that it’s the seed from which my dreams, ambitions and accomplishments have all stemmed,” said Isaac Vosburg, IYI participant. “The IYI and the Global Youth Institute have acted as gardeners in my life, nurturing my budding ideals of an Earth at peace, and helping me grow into who I am today.”

Participation in the full-day event makes every student who submitted their idea eligible for a $1,000 scholarship at Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

“In the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, we have awarded well over half a million dollars in scholarships to students who have participated in World Food Prize Foundation programs like the IYI,” said Robison. “It’s a great activity that prepares students to make the future a better and better place for us all.”

In addition, participants are eligible to apply for future opportunities, including fellowships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and international internships. The top Iowa students will be selected to join accomplished scientists, policy experts, and global industry leaders at the prestigious World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in October.

As of 2021, 74% of high schools across the state of Iowa have participated in IYI, affecting many communities across the state. In addition, the IYI has a legacy of diversified involvement, boasting 1/3rd of Iowa schools across the state represented at the 2023 Iowa Youth Institute. The event is at no cost to Iowa teachers or students, who must register by March 29, 2024. For more information and the link to apply, please see  

“It’s incredible how much of an impact this program can have on the students, whether it’s by giving them expert guidance in their career goals, resources or a newfound community,” said Jon Wogman, Director, Youth Programs and Partnerships, World Food Prize Foundation. “Our mission has always been to expand the opportunity to all Iowa communities, and we hope to continue educating motivated youths on how to address global food insecurity issues.”

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