The World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute is a one-day event that gives high school students the opportunity to present research and recommendations on how to solve key global challenges.

World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute 4-H Youth Development Michigan State UniversityRegistration is currently open!

Registration for students, teachers/mentors, experts, and staff is open through March 15, 2024:

The World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute (WFPMIYI) is a one day event coordinated by Michigan State University (MSU) where youth:

  • Present research and recommendations on how to solve key global challenges in a short speech and small group discussions with MSU faculty, staff, students, peers, and other experts.
  • Connect with other student leaders from across Michigan to share ideas, identify solutions to these problems and build lasting friendships.
  • Interact with global leaders in science, agriculture, industry and policy.
  • Take part in educational sessions to explore current research and issues in food, agriculture, natural resources, international development and life sciences.
  • Meet innovative professionals, researchers, professors and college students working to end hunger and poverty and improve food security in Michigan and around the world.

When and where: May 9, 2024, 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Participants have the option of joining the World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute in person on the campus of MSU in East Lansing or by participating from anywhere else using Zoom video/web conference technology.

Schedule overview:  A basic overview of the conference is available to view here.  A final schedule, with the information you'll need to connect to the conference via Zoom will be emailed directly to participants.

Who: Students who are in grades 7 through 12 during the 2023-2024 school year are eligible to register by submitting a three to five page paper (see link below).

Cost: Free.

Registration deadline: March 15, 2024

Online registration for youth participants and their adult teachers or mentors will begin on February 1, 2024 at

  • Youth Registration - Registration Open from February 1 to March 15, 2024
    (Please note that youth must submit their completed research paper as part of the registration process.)
  • Teacher and Adult Mentor Registration Deadline: March 15, 2024

Research Paper Instructions: Using the Global Challenge Paper Instructions, youth will select a country other than the one the currently live in and research 1 of 20 key factors that affect food security (examples of key factors include plant science, water scarcity, dietary diseases, malnutrition or international trade). Each participant will write a three-five page paper outlining their research findings, as well as an approach/recommendation they develop to overcome the issue. More topic, paper and mentor guidelines can be found through World Food Prize, along with examples of past papers.

Youth participants may choose to design and submit an Educational Poster in addition to their required research paper. An educational poster is optional for the WFPMIYI and a supplement for participants to use when presenting/discussing an overview of their research paper during the event on May 9. Youth should refer to the WFPMIYI Educational Poster Guide for instructions to complete their posters. Completing a research poster does not replace the requirement of submitting a research paper in order to participate in the event. Posters must be submitted electronically by April 19, 2024. 

The World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute meets a wide variety of educational standards and practices in multiple content areas. Read more about the ways the WFPMIYI is aligned with today's education standards here.

Resources for students, teachers, and adult mentors: 
The World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute staff will host live Teacher/Mentor Orientation webinars on January 18, 2024 at 3:15 pm and 6:30 pm (choose whichever works best for your schedule!). For more information and registration instructions please see the Teacher/Mentor Orientation Webinar flyer.

The World Food Prize Research Guide is a free online resource created by Suzanne Teghtmeyer (MSU Agriculture, Plant Science, and Reference Librarian) which serves as a general guide to finding openly accessible information on topics associated with the World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute. The resource guide provides valuable information and resources to assist students in writing their research paper.

Teachers and adult mentors who would like to support the participation of youth in the WFPMIYI may be interested in using our SPIN Club Agenda/Teaching Outline.

During the event on May 9: Youth will give a short presentation on their research paper and recommendations. Presentations will be 5 minutes in length and presented in a round table format so youth can receive feedback on their research from their peers and experts that will be assigned to each group.  During the Institute, youth will also participate in a live interactive session with global challenge experts to learn more about topics related to global food and food security.  

During the event, youth will be evaluated by the experts in their presentation groups based on their individual presentations.  Papers will be evaluated by a member of the World Food Prize Foundation Board of Reviewers and each youth will receive individualized feedback on their research.

The top performing youth will be considered as possible delegates to represent Michigan at the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, October 2024.  The quality of student research papers and presentations will be the primary measurements used to select potential World Food Prize Global Youth Institute delegates from Michigan.  Students selected as finalists to join Michigan's delegation to the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute will be invited to participate in an video conference interview with the WFPMIYI coordinators.

About the Global Youth Institute: Youth selected to be a Michigan delegate will join over 100 other outstanding high school students and mentors from across the United States and around the world for an exciting three day program to interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and the more than 1,000 global leaders from 75 countries attending the World Food Prize’s annual international symposium.

Accommodation, meal and program expenses at the three day Global Youth Institute event are provided by the World Food Prize Foundation for the selected Michigan youth delegates. Youth will be accompanied to Iowa for this prestigious leadership opportunity by Michigan 4-H staff members who will serve as chaperones. Round trip travel to Iowa will be arranged and provided for students selected to participate in the Global Youth Institute by Michigan 4-H. Other than minor costs, this amazing follow-up opportunity to the WFPMYI is fully funded for the top scoring youth.


For more information on how to get involved with the 2024 Michigan Youth Institute, contact:

Brian Wibby, M.S.S.A.
Extension Educator
Office phone: (906) 439-5065


Debra Barrett,
Senior Extension Educator
Office phone: (269) 927-5674 x4018
Cell Phone: (269) 240-1986