La Porte-Dysart FFA Member Takes part in World Food Prize

Tristen Heth participates in the World Food Prize and Global Youth Institute. -- Photo provided

The World Food Prize event was held virtually Oct. 12 -16, and the Global Youth Institute was held in conjunction Oct. 9 – 23.

The World Food Prize event is a famed international conference held in Des Moines, Iowa annually and honors the legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug’s efforts to feed the world.

Dr. Borlaug is credited for saving a billion lives with his work on wheat genetics. International leaders, scientists, and researchers typically gather in Des Moines to collaborate and celebrate the work being completed to fight against hunger and poverty.

Although this year’s conference was virtual, the discussions of food insecurity, climate change, sustainability, and nutrition were never more important considering the world wide pandemic.

During the conference, a 2020 World Food Prize Laureate was awarded to Dr. Rattan Lal, for his efforts focused on soil health in terms of increasing food production. This award is also known as the Nobel Prize of Agriculture.

Tristen Heth participates in the World Food Prize and Global Youth Institute. -- Photo provided

In conjunction with the World Food Prize, 200 students from around the world are selected to participate in the Global Youth Institute. To be selected to attend, all applicants had to write about a country and topic of choice and how their topic is affecting food security in their selected country.

Tristen Heth, from the La Porte-Dysart FFA Chapter, was one of the students selected to represent Iowa at the Global Youth Institute. Heth researched the country of Cameroon and how the HIV/AIDS epidemic is affecting the country and their food security.

In April, she was a part of the Iowa Youth Institute where she was put into small groups with other students from Iowa along with a few industry experts. Within the small groups, the students presented their papers and discussed global food insecurity problems.

From there, Tristen was selected to be an Iowa delegate for the Global Youth Institute, a part of the World Food Prize in October. She presented her paper virtually to experts from the Global Teach Ag Network, International Rice Research Institute, Iowa State University, and the Ohio State University as well as students from around the world!

“I learned so much about how to end hunger in our community and how I can make a difference. What I enjoyed the most from the whole experience was getting to listen to everyone’s papers from around the world and getting to hear lectures from successful scientists and researchers,” Heth said.

By attending the Iowa Youth Institute, each student is awarded a $500 scholarship to Iowa State University, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and for being selected as a delegate for the Global Youth Institute, each delegate earns another $2,000 scholarship to Iowa State University.