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 UniversityMay 6, 2021
Online Zoom Conference

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 local 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 6, 2021, 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. The World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute will be held as an entirely online experience 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 2020-2021 school year are eligible to register by submitting a two to five page paper (see link below).

Cost: Free.

Registration deadline: April 1, 2021

Online registation for youth participants and their adult teachers or mentors will begin on March 1, 2020 at

  • Youth Registration - Registration Open from March 1 to April 1, 2021
    (Please note that youth must submit their completed research paper as part of the registration process.)
  • Teacher and Adult Mentor Registration Deadline: April 1, 2021

Paper guidelines: Using the Global Challenge Paper Guidelines, youth will select a developing country and research one 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 two-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.

During the online event on May 6: 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 (or virtually), October 2021.  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 300 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 WFPMIYI mentors. Both student and mentor participants must organize and fund their own transportation to and from the event in Iowa, as well as their lodging Wednesday evening prior to the start of the institute. 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 2021 Michigan Youth Institute, contact:

Brian Wibby, M.S.S.A.
Extension Educator
Phone: (906) 251-1417


Debra Barrett,
Senior Extension Educator
Phone: (269) 240-1986