High school students invited to apply for World Food Prize Wisconsin Youth Institute

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is pleased to host the fifth annual World Food Prize Wisconsin Youth Institute on the UW-Madison campus on Monday, Apr. 8.

Three Wisconsin students attended the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute last year. Photo shows (left to right): Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation; Kaitlyn Holmgren; Samya Hickman; Madeline Lund; and Plia Xiong, UW–Madison CALS Office of Academic Affairs.

The day-long program gives Wisconsin high school students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to engage directly with leading researchers and industry experts specializing in food systems and natural resources on the topic of world hunger and poverty. In order to participate, students must submit a two- to three-page paper about a global food security issue that they research and write under the supervision of a teacher/mentor.

The top students at the Wisconsin Youth Institute will be invited to attend the three-day World Food Prize Global Youth Institute held in conjunction with the World Food Prize International Symposium in Iowa in October. Participating students are eligible for internships and fellowships. Educators who attend the Global Youth Institute have the opportunity to participate in professional development programming.

Last year, three Wisconsin Youth Institute participants were selected to attend the Global Youth Institute: Samya Hickman from Vincent High School in Milwaukee; Kaitlyn Holmgren from Saint Croix Central in Hammond; and Madeline Lund from Central High School in LaCrosse.

“I gained a miraculous amount of knowledge about important and pressing topics all over the world,” says Holmgren. “I met students from all over the world and made connections that will last a lifetime. Overall, the Global Youth Institute was an amazing experience.”

The deadline to submit papers is Mar. 25. There is no cost to participate in the Wisconsin Youth Institute and lunch will be provided the day of the event. However, both students and their supervising teachers/mentors must organize their own transportation to and from the event in Madison. More information about the Wisconsin Youth Institute, including research paper guidelines, is available at

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction provides additional support for the Wisconsin Youth Institute.

For more information, contact Plia Xiong at or (608) 265-2051.