This is an article from the September 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.
Partnerships are often a huge contributor to the successes of our students and agriculture programs. From the local beef cattle association partnering with your FFA chapter for a fundraiser, to sponsor-funded initiatives that span the entire United States; it is partnerships that provide our students learning opportunities and help them develop lifelong career skills.
One unique partnership we have in agricultural education is with the World Food Prize Foundation. Since 1995, high school students from around the world have been given the opportunity to participate in the foundation’s Global Youth Institute. This three-day event pairs students with teacher mentors to discuss pressing food security and agricultural issues with international experts. During this experience, students are able to interact with both Nobel Peace Prize and World Food Prize Laureates.
Since 2000, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn has been the President of the World Food Prize Foundation and has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of global food insecurity through the Global Youth Institute. Through his 32 years of experience in foreign service, diplomacy, and food security, Ambassador Quinn has made a profound impact on the lives of students and teachers in agricultural education. His dedication the philanthropy is the reason he was selected as the 2016 NAAE Region III Outstanding Cooperation award winner.
Ambassador Quinn realizes that the first step to addressing global food insecurity is through proper education about agriculture and food, which is why he chooses to connect with agriculture teachers and students.
“Thanks to the World Food Prize, multiple students who are currently enrolled in agriculture classes have expressed a greater understanding for the importance of education about agriculture,” said Ambassador Quinn. “Students who were not previously enrolled in agriculture courses have indicated an intent to change their high school schedules to now include agriculture courses.”
In an effort to reach more students through the Global Youth Institute, state-level youth institutes have been established in 15 states. These day-long institutes take place at land-grant universities, as a partnership with the institution’s agriculture college, and provide students and teachers with a snapshot of the same information and activities that take place at the Global Youth Institute. The top students at the state-level institutes are selected to attend the Global Youth Institute, to continue their education about global food insecurity.
Through these various institutes, Ambassador Quinn is able to gather stories from agriculture teachers and students that he uses in his efforts to help raise awareness about global food insecurity. Partnerships like these allow agricultural education to reach farther than the walls of our classrooms. It is opportunities like these, for us and our students, that allow us to truly make a difference in the lives of every person on the planet – yet another reason that agricultural education’s value is immeasurable.
For more information about the World Food Prize Foundation, click here.
Wanting to find out more about the State Youth Institutes? Check out this link.
Interested in finding out more about the Global Youth Institute? Follow this link.
Ambassador Kenneth Quinn was the 2016 NAAE Region III Outstanding Cooperation award winner. NAAE recognizes organizations, agribusiness companies, and others who have given outstanding support to agricultural education with the Outstanding Cooperation Award. The plaques for this program are sponsored by Forrest T. Jones & Company. For more information about NAAE awards and programs, please follow this link.
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