This fall, two deserving future agriculture teachers learned firsthand about the global community's best efforts to alleviate hunger and promote the human right to a stable, nutritious supply of food.
Selected for the experience were Kirby Schmidt, 20, a student at the University of Minnesota and Marshall FFA member, and Allison Hoover, 20, of Penn State. As the first recipients of the National FFA Organization's World Food Prize Grants, they traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, October 12-15 to attend the World Food Prize.
While at the World Food Prize, the students attended the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony, the Global Youth Institute and special meetings with agricultural leaders.
After the event, they are to deliver three presentations about the World Food Prize to agricultural education students at their college or university, to their state's agricultural education teachers and to a local FFA chapter. They will also prepare a summary of the experience and its impact to be shared with agricultural education stakeholders.
"I intend to take my experiences back to the classroom, in order to integrate sustainability and food production issues into my coursework and FFA program," said Schmidt, a former president of the Minnesota FFA. "I hope to inspire a new generation of youth that will actively engage in creating solutions for a sustainable and nutritious food supply. My 7-12 curriculum will include opportunities to learn more about international agricultural issues, Dr. Norman Borlaug, and how students can be engaged in global opportunities."
The World Food Prize is an international award that recognized achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize recognizes contributions in any field involved in the world food supply — food and agriculture science and technology, manufacturing, marketing, nutrition, economics, poverty alleviation, political leadership and the social sciences. The FFA World Food Prize Grant program is focused on ensuring that tomorrow's agriculture teachers have a broad awareness of the global issues affecting agriculture, hunger, food distribution and sustainability. The impact these educators will have on students can be profound.The Minnesota FFA Foundation partners with individuals and businesses to provide resources that promote and enhance premier leadership, personal growth and career success for Minnesota youth in Agricultural Education. For more information about the Minnesota FFA Foundation, contact executive director Val Aarsvold at 507-534-0188 or visit www.mnffafoundation.org.