Allegan County 4-H member Callie Beukema of the Globe Trotters 4-H Club was the first-ever student to represent Michigan at the Global Youth Institute (GYI) Oct. 13–15 in Des Moines, Iowa, during the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium. Callie was among the top students in the country selected to represent Michigan 4-H and her school, Calvary Schools of Holland. The symposium drew 1,400 people from 75 countries to discuss world hunger and food security issues.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug founded the World Food Prize to recognize and inspire great achievements in improving the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world. The World Food Prize celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.
At the GYI, students from 24 states and territories and four countries attended speeches by world-renowned leaders, presented their research and joined in hunger relief efforts. To be considered, students researched global food security issues in the country of their choice and wrote research papers on the topics. Selected students presented their papers to renowned experts and scientists at the conference.
Michigan State University Extension educator Jan Brinn mentored Callie in preparing for the event and writing the research paper. Callie presented a paper on the theme “The Millennium Goals: Agriculture to Trade,” focusing on food issues in Belize.
The experience sparked Callie’s interest in Belize as well as other cultures. She may participate in the 4-H Belize exchange in 2012 to experience firsthand what she had researched and possibly meet Jan’s Belizean 4-H exchange student contact. She’s also looking to pursue an international internship.
Participants also helped with a hands-on service project packaging meals for Outreach International, toured Syngenta Seeds Inc. in Slater, Iowa, and took part in an Oxfam Hunger Banquet to experience the realities of global hunger and poverty.