Nevada High School senior Eliana Hornbuckle participated in the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute last week in Des Moines. Kevin Cooper, Nevada High School agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor, accompanied Hornbuckle and participated in the conference.

The institute began Wednesday, Oct. 16, with a reception at the Hilton Hotel in Des Moines and culminated at the Corteva Carver Center in Johnston Saturday, Oct. 19.

Highlights of the conference included presentations from renowned scientists, global leaders, including the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the presentation of the 2019 World Food Prize. Particularly interesting topics included retail food waste reduction, effects of climate change on crop yields and the impact of agriculture on the economies of developing nations. Excursions to the Polk County Landfill and an urban garden were also noteworthy events.

“I was so impressed with the variety of topics, depth, and scope of this conference, extremely thought provoking,” Cooper said.

Hornbuckle first attended the Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University in late April. She was tasked with choosing a developing country and finding a problem it faces regarding food insecurity, then developing a solution and a plan for implementation. Based on her submitted paper and presentation which focused on food waste in India, she was selected to attend the Global Youth Institute.

Her solution involved a government-run system of refrigerated trucks, which she said could be difficult because of the political atmosphere in some countries.

“Current political climate is not the best in india, so we talked a lot in the roundtables at GYY about how politics influence food security,” she said.

After her participation in the Global Youth Institute, Hornbuckle is eligible for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship, which she says she may not apply for this year but plans to next year after her first year of college.

Both the Iowa Youth Institute and Global Youth Institute are sponsored by the World Food Prize to ensure a promising future for the world by inspiring the next generation of agricultural researchers and leaders. This year marked the 22nd Global Youth Institute, which is now a renowned educational program.

In total, 215 students from 34 states and ten countries attended this year’s Global Youth Institute. Students selected a developing country and factor affecting food insecurity to be the topic of their research papers. In addition to their research, students proposed a solution to help eliminate world hunger. By encouraging and supporting the ideas of youth, the world is one step closer to ending global hunger.

Nevada Journal reporter Katie Mauch contributed to this story.