News Release

Northern Great Plains Youth Institute 2018

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Your idea could change the world! If you are a student in grades nine through twelve during the 2017-18 school year, you are eligible to participate in the Northern Great Plains Youth Institute at the University of Minnesota Crookston on Monday, May 7, 2018. 

The Northern Great Plains Youth Institute, an official World Food Prize event, is a potentially life-changing experience offering high school students an opportunity to engage with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges, participate in hands-on activities, and explore exciting ways to make a difference in Minnesota and around the world.

Select a Mentor, Research an Issue, and Write a Paper

To participate, students research a global issue they care about and write a two to three page paper under the supervision of a teacher or mentor following the competition guidelines available at  Students who participate can earn a $1,000 scholarship at the U of M Crookston, gain recognition as a Borlaug Scholar, qualify for internships, and more. Registration and paper submissions are due online by Monday, April 9, 2018.

During the Institute, participants will present their research and recommendations on ways to solve key global challenges in a short speech and small group discussions with statewide experts; connect with other student leaders to share ideas and identify solutions while building lasting friendships; and interact with global leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs working to end hunger and poverty and improve food security around the world.

There is no registration cost to participate in the Institute, and meals will be provided during the event. Housing is available for $15 per night and additional educational activities will be available for the evening of Sunday, May 6, as well.  Larger groups of students (such as entire high school classes) are invited to attend as well.

Papers will be evaluated by the World Food Prize Board of Reviewers, a distinguished group of educators and experts established to mentor and personally encourage students. Reviewers write thoughtful, personalized feedback to each student participant.

To learn more, visit or contact Eleora DeMuth at or 218-281-8569.

Additional Background

The World Food Prize was founded by Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who saved over a billion people from famine and starvation through advances in crop breeding technologies. Today, The World Food Prize celebrates individuals who significantly improve global food security. The Northern Great Plains Youth Institute was established at the U of M Crookston to engage high school students with local leaders and experts on critical global food security challenges, participate in hands-on learning, explore campus, and formally present their solutions to food security, environmental or social justice issues.

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations


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