News Release

Inaugural Northern Great Plains Youth Institute

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

High school students were on campus for the inaugural Northern Great Plains Youth Institute on Monday, May 7, 2018, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The Northern Great Plains Youth Institute, an official World Food Prize event, is a potentially life-changing experience NGPYIwhere high school students engage with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges and participate in hands-on activities.

Participants had an opportunity to present their research and recommendations on ways to solve key global challenges in a short speech and small group discussions with statewide experts while exploring exciting ways to make a difference in Minnesota and around the world. Following their presentations, the students took part in several workshops on a variety of topics including an animal science lab, an equine science lab, and a horticulture lab where they got hands on opportunities to immerse themselves in a topic.

Students participating were recognized as Borlaug Scholars making them eligible for internships, scholarships, and more. Concluding the day were the presentation of certificates by U of M Crookston Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause and Keegan Kautzky, director of National Education Programs from the World Food Prize Foundation.

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.

To learn more about the conference, visit

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 35 bachelor's degree programs, 23 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 16 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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