WFP Michigan Youth Institute aims to end hunger

Julia Baratta, Freelance Writer


Michigan Student delegates Sachin Kumar and Loren King meet Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram, the 2014 winner of the World Food Prize. Dr. Rajaram developed 480 wheat varieties that are being appreciated in 51 countries.

The youth of today are more aware of the various issues affecting the world through forms of social media and living in the information age. Hunger is one of the most pertinent issues to people as there is a need to provide food more efficiently. World Food Prize out of Iowa is giving a voice to those students who believe they can help with this problem on a global level.

Michigan State University Extension, Michigan 4-H, Michigan FFA and the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources have come together to present the annual World Food Prize (WFP) Michigan Youth Institute held on MSU campus in May. Any Michigan high school student may attend this free event with one requirement: the young person needs to write a two- to five- page research paper about dealing with a hunger crisis in a country where it is nearly impossible to provide enough food for the nation’s population.

During the one-day program, the students will present their papers to a group of their peers with professionals overseeing the discussion and participating. While it is an opportunity to share ideas and understand a broader world view, the young people are competing for the coveted positions of representing the state of Michigan at the World Food Prize event in IA.

Activities offered during the event in Michigan include speed meetings with different MSU departments, a time of asking questions of MSU faculty experts, and visits to campus sites, labs and facilities.

Michigan is just one of many states that conduct the workshops and encourage young people to develop a broader worldview when considering solutions for the problems of the day. If a young person lives in a state where there is no Global Youth Institute (GYI), they can try for an open position to attend the WFP GYI held in October and located in Iowa. Any student from eighth grade through their senior year for the upcoming school year may enter.

For more information, check out their website at