Tuesday, November 4, 2014

#TheNextNorm World Food Prize: Perspectives from the Global Teach Ag! Intern

The World Food Prize is an event to recognize those that are taking on “The Greatest Challenge in Human History”, feeding the world by improving food systems and quality.   Norman Borlaug is at the heart and history of this event.   Dr. Borlaug is known as the father of the green revolution and credited with saving millions of lives because of his research.   He was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and hoped to have an award to recognize others in food and agricultural improvement.  The World Food Prize was started as a result of that.  Paired with the World Food Prize was the Global Youth Institute, where students from across the country took on “the greatest challenge in human history”, researching their way to being #TheNextNorm

So what is this hashtag #thenextnorm all about?  It is about giving students opportunities and avenues to find and research ideas to become the next Norman Borlaug, and to challenge the norm of society around the world.  I have no doubt the roomed filled with over 150 students held “The Next Norm”.  

Students sharing their research!
These “next norms” are innovative, inspiring and they are our future. As one of the speakers said, in some generations put a man on the moon or created the computer, this generation will  feed the world.  The students at the Youth Institute did not take that lightly, they chose a developing country, one factor effecting that countries food insecurity, and came up with solutions to improve food systems through anything from education to infrastructure.  As they shared their findings with a panel of experts,  their passion and determination filled the room.

Agricultural Education around the country differs, but if we want one thing to tie it together, maybe it should be Global Agriculture.  Why?  My question is why not?  These student proved it to me this week, as a high school student stood in front of laureates, expert faculty and his peers and said, “We came up with a whole list of problems… ..but we came up with two pages of solutions.”  They made me want to learn more on my own, research on my own and join them.  

2014 Laureate, Dr. Rajaram shared a conversation that happened between him Dr. Borlaug, and it applies here as well. He said, It didn’t happen right away but it was a process involving a global team.  We have a team, are you willing to join us?

Check out what Secretary Vilsack had to say to encourage young people in agriculture!

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