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FFAers research international food issues

By Staff | May 25, 2016

JACOB SCHULTZ, an FFA member at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School, poses with a plastic bottle of biodiesel that he made during his workshop about Iowa’s renewable fuels. Participants also learned about the by-products created during the creation of biodiesel.

SIBLEY (S-O FFA) – The Iowa Youth Institute is a conference that allows youth to gather and talk about food security problems throughout the world.

This year, the Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA chapter had two students participate.

On April 25, Jacob Schultz and Riane Vickery had the opportunity to meet with more than 290 students from across Iowa at Iowa State University. They talked about issues they see in agriculture and food security.

To be selected for this conference, each student submitted a five-page paper about a country and a factor that affected its food security.

Schultz focused Sierra Leone and its need for infrastructure. Vickery based her paper around Peru, and its need for education.

VICKERY AND SCHULTZ pose in front of a giant globe while pointing in the general direction of the countries they researched — Peru and Sierra Leone, respectively.

Students discussed their papers in roundtable discussions throughout the day. They presented 3-minute speeches about their paper, and were questioned by facilitators and peers about their research.

After each student presented, a student-led discussion about their insights and recommendations of international agriculture followed.

Following roundtable discussions, the students were assigned to several workshops based on their interests, led by ISU professors, industry leaders, and ISU students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Topics included Iowa fuels, aquaponics, and world cultures. Schultz shared his enthusiasm after “learning how to make biodiesel … and makes me want to go back and learn more.”

Throughout the day, students listened to keynote speeches from Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds; plus ISU President Dr. Steven Leath; and were to Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, dean of ISU’s ag college.

Students will find out if they were selected for the Global Youth Institute in late May.

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