DES MOINES - Emmetsburg High School student Queen Mukami was among the top students in the country selected to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute last month in Des Moines. The event was held in conjunction with the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, which drew 1,300 people from 65 countries to discuss the world's hunger and food security issues.
The World Food Prize Global Youth Institute was held in conjunction with the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, one of the world's foremost conferences on international agriculture and food policy. The World Food Prize celebrated its 26th anniversary this year, and was founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug in order to recognize and inspire great achievements in improving the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world.
In order to be considered for participation, students from across Iowa and the United States 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. Mukami, a junior at Emmetsburg, is the daughter of Beth Kinjah of Emmetsburg.
At the three-day World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, Mukami 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.
The World Food Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, The World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. In 1990, Des Moines businessman and philanthropist John Ruan assumed sponsorship of The Prize and established The World Food Prize Foundation, located in Des Moines, Iowa.
High School students attending the Global Youth Institute participated in symposium sessions featuring:
- 2012 World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Daniel Hillel of Israel
- Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations
- Princess Haya bint Al Hussein of Jordan
- Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development
- The CEOs of many of the world's major agribusiness companies: ADM, Deere & Co., DuPont, Monsanto, Novus International and Syngenta
- Researchers and non-profit leaders from around the globe
During the Youth Institute, Mukami presented a paper on the theme "Cultivating Innovations to Feed the World" and participated in roundtable discussions with experts in industry, science, academia and policy. Research for the paper focused on examining major issues in global agriculture, development and food security in other 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 the Des Moines Water Works in Des Moines, Iowa, and took part in an Oxfam Hunger Banquet to experience the realities of global hunger and poverty.
At the Global Youth Institute, Mukami interacted with students and teachers from Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Tanzania.