The World Food Prize Foundation announced that record 24 high school students will be sent abroad for internships at renowned international research centers and NGOs this summer. The students hail from Iowa and 12 other states, and will focus their studies on issues relating to hunger and poverty during eight-week, all-expenses-paid internships in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The program was created by Dr. Norman Borlaug and John Ruan, Sr. in 1998, and seeks to inspire the next generation of agricultural scientists, as well as exposing them to the wide array of fields related to global food security. Over the years, 250 young people have participated in the internship with significant impact on their educational and career choices.
“It was our founder, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug’s most ardent hope that by engaging young people in actual hunger-fighting research, they will be inspired to pursue academic and career paths in science, food, agricultural and natural resource disciplines, and thus be prepared to become tomorrow’s innovative scientific and humanitarian leaders,” said World Food Prize President, Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn. “Nearly 1 billion people go hungry every day. As the world faces a growing population, climate volatility and other global challenges, the next generation will be charged with continuing the battle against hunger and finding new solutions to feed the world.”
The Borlaug-Ruan Internship allows student interns to participate in projects with distinguished researchers at leading agricultural research centers around the world. Students receive a firsthand view of real and pressing food security issues and nutrition problems in poverty-stricken areas, and participate as an integral part of a project. Participants spend time in the lab as well as days or weeks at a time in the field conducting research and interviews, and gathering data.
The interns are involved in a variety of projects focused on reducing poverty and hunger, such as: fisheries and aquaculture studies; plant biotechnology research; micro-credit and the women’s self-help concept; the influence of education on household food security; livestock value chains; and the calculation of Vitamin C concentration in numerous potato varieties.
A list of the 24 Borlaug-Ruan International Interns, including photos, can be found online here