On February 19, the World Food Prize Foundation hosted USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at their Hall of Laureates. He was there to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding scaling-up the Wallace-Carver Internship program over the next five years.
The event featured young agriculture students and future leaders who will benefit from this program.
Trisha Collins, a former agricultural education student and FFA member at Pleasantville High School, opened the ceremony, welcoming everyone to the event and introducing Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation.
Trisha represented her school and FFA chapter at the 2009 Global Youth Institute and subsequently served as a 2010 Borlaug-Ruan International Intern at the International Livestock Research Institute in Ethiopia and as a 2011 Wallace-Carver Intern at the USDA National Animal Disease Center.
Several other outstanding agriculture students from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois who have participated in both FFA and World Food Prize youth leadership programs were also there.
The Des Moines Central Campus Agriculture Academy – an outstanding agricultural education program and FFA chapter encompassing all 18 high schools in the greater Des Moines, Iowa metro area also attended the event. Jacob Hunter and Craig Nelson, the chapter’s FFA advisors , brought 15 of the chapter’s officers and top students. They were able to meet the Secretary and have their picture taken with him.
The highlight of the event was Secretary Vilsack’s rousing speech on the critical importance of investing in Agricultural and STEM education, and creating the research, internship and employment opportunities necessary to train and prepare the next generation of agricultural, scientific and industry leaders in the United States.
If you’re interested in applying for a Wallace Carver Internship, or any of the other opportunities offered by the World Food Prize Foundation, please visit their website.