International Agri-Center® Sends Future Ag Teachers to World Food Prize

September 14, 2011 – Through World Ag Expo’s® Concerts for a Cause, the International Agri-Center® has provided a grant for two future agriculture teachers to attend the World Food Prize conference. The students will learn firsthand about the global community’s best efforts to alleviate hunger and promote the human right to a stable, nutritious supply of food. As the first recipients of the National FFA Organization’s World Food Prize Grants, they will travel to Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 12-15, 2011 to attend the World Food Prize. Selected for the experience are Allison Nicole Hoover, 20, of Pennsylvania State University and Kirby John Schmidt, 20, of the University of Minnesota.

The opportunity to attend the World Food Prize is made possible by a grant from the International Agri-Center® to the National FFA Foundation.  Funding for the grant was raised through World Ag Expo’s® Concerts for a Cause held in early 2011. Money raised from concert series was used to support agricultural education and scholarships.

While at the World Food Prize, the students will attend the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony, the Global Youth Institute and special meetings with agricultural leaders. After the event, they will deliver three presentations about the World Food Prize to agricultural education students at their college or university, to their state’s agricultural education teachers, and to a local FFA chapter. They will also prepare a summary of the experience and its impact to be shared with agricultural education stakeholders.

“I intend to take my experiences back to the classroom, in order to integrate sustainability and food production issues into my coursework and FFA program,” said Schmidt, of Marshall, MN, and former president of the Minnesota FFA Association. “I hope to inspire a new generation of youth that will actively engage in creating solutions for a sustainable and nutritious food supply. My 7-12 curriculum will include opportunities to learn more about international agricultural issues, Dr. Norman Borlaug and how students can be engaged in global opportunities.”

Hoover, a former Pennsylvania FFA state officer from Port Matilda, PA, agreed. “The next generation of leaders will need to be informed about agriculture. We will best prepare them by educating and intriguing them to be engaged with global agricultural issues and solutions. This challenge is one that I plan to pursue as a career.”

The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize recognizes contributions in any field involved in the world food supply — food and agriculture science and technology, manufacturing, marketing, nutrition, economics, poverty alleviation, political leadership and the social sciences. The FFA World Food Prize Grant program is focused on ensuring that tomorrow’s agriculture teachers have a broad awareness of the global issues affecting agriculture, hunger, food distribution and sustainability. The impact these educators will have on students can be profound.