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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 sixth annual World Food Prize Wisconsin Youth Institute on the UW-Madison campus on Monday, Apr. 6.

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.

Five Wisconsin students attended the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute last year. Photo shows (left to right): Cael Schoemann, Nyah Lues, Sydney Hensen, Margaret Colwell and Anna Brink.

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, five Wisconsin Youth Institute participants were selected to attend the Global Youth Institute: Cael Schoemann from Hartford Union High School; Nyah Lues from LaFollette High School (in Madison); Sydney Hensen from DeForest High School; Margaret Colwell from Hartford Union High School; and Anna Brink from Plymouth High School.

“It was such an incredible experience. I was surrounded by amazing youth from all walks of life, and I loved learning about many of their [presentation] topics,” says Nyan Lues, whose GYI presentation focused on sustainable soy farming in Argentina. “I had no idea about the array of careers related to agriculture that I could pursue. It was so inspiring to know that any person there had the ability to create a local or global impact on the world.”

The deadline to submit papers is Mar. 16. 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.