Penn State student gets grant to attend World Food Prize in Iowa

October 07, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A sophomore in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is one of two students to receive grants from the national Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization to attend World Food Prize events, Oct. 12-15 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Allison Hoover, 20, of Port Matilda, Pa., an agricultural and extension education major, is a former Pennsylvania FFA state officer.

This marks the first time FFA has awarded World Food Prize grants. The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

The prize recognizes contributions in any field involved in the world food supply -- food and agricultural science and technology, manufacturing, marketing, nutrition, economics, poverty alleviation, political leadership and the social sciences.

The 2011 honorees are John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of Ghana, and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil, who are credited with creating and implementing government policies that alleviated hunger and poverty in their countries.

"The next generation of leaders will need to be informed about agriculture," Hoover said. "We will best prepare them by educating them to be engaged in global agricultural issues and involving them in the search for solutions to problems. This challenge is one that I plan to pursue as a career."

The World Food Prize emphasizes the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people, according to Deanna Behring, director of international programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

"By honoring those who have worked successfully toward this goal, the prize calls attention to what has been done to improve global food security and to what can be accomplished in the future," she said. "It is critical that future agriculture teachers develop a broad awareness of the global issues affecting agriculture, hunger, food distribution and sustainability.

"The impact these educators will have on students can be profound."

The other recipient of an FFA grant to attend the World Food Prize events is Kirby Schmidt of the University of Minnesota.

While in Des Moines, Hoover and Schmidt will attend the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony, the Global Youth Institute and special meetings with agricultural leaders.

After the event, they will deliver three presentations about the World Food Prize to agricultural education students at their universities, to their state's agricultural education teachers and to a local FFA chapter. They also will prepare a summary of the experience and its impact to be shared with agricultural education stakeholders.

For more information about the World Food Prize, go to the website. For more information about the FFA World Food Prize grant program, contact Bill Stagg at 317-802-4243 or by email at

  • Allison Hoover

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 10, 2011