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Southwest Valley student participates in World Food Prize Global Youth Institute

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES — Mikayla Dolch of Southwest Valley High School was among the top students in the country selected to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute Oct. 17-19 in Des Moines, during the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, which drew 1,500 people from more than 65 countries to discuss the world’s hunger and food security issues.

Students from across the United States and abroad researched global food security issues in the country of their choice, and then submitted papers on those critical topics, which they also presented to renowned experts and scientists.

At the three-day World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, Dolch and 150 other high school students had the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of internationally renowned World Food Prize Laureates and leaders in food, agriculture and international development.

Global Youth Institute attendees participated in symposium sessions featuring:  

• His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland;

• His Eminence Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Holy See, The Vatican;

• His Excellency Akinwumi A. Adesina, honorable minister of agriculture and rural development, Nigeria;

• Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Howard G. Buffett and Howard W. Buffett who announced the creation of the 40 Chances Fellows program, a partnership of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative, and The World Food Prize;

• The CEOs of many of the world’s major agribusiness companies: DuPont, Elanco, Kemin Industries, Monsanto, Novus International and Syngenta;

• Researchers, non-profit leaders and smallholder farmers from around the globe.

Dolch presented a paper on the theme “Ending Hunger In Our Lifetime: A Call to Action” and participated in roundtable discussions with experts in industry, science, academia and policy. Research for the paper focused on major issues in global agriculture, development and food security in developing countries.

Participants also helped with a hands-on service project packaging meals for Outreach International, a hunger-fighting organization that serves people in Iowa and abroad, toured an Iowa farm and took part in an Oxfam Hunger Banquet to experience the realities of global hunger and poverty.

At the Global Youth Institute, Dolch interacted with students and teachers from numerous states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Bangladesh, China, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey and South Africa.

Participants also viewed the 2013 World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony.

High school educators and students interested in participating should visit www.worldfoodprize.org/youth and select their state on the U.S. map, or other country link if living abroad, for information on the 2014 Global Youth Institute.

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